Miscellaneous Musings of Luke Shors

“Where the telescope ends the microscope begins, and who can say which has the wider vision?” - Victor Hugo


In a spring polyrhythm

There is a cross-rhythm I begin to hear

In the park

On the hill

Where I’m at

It cuts over the din of my idle, mental, chatter

And once I hear it, the chatter settles

And I lock into the rhythm’s frequency

The main temporal referent – the 2 in the 3:2 ratio,

is the throb of a man

Hawking newspapers

Across the street

Regular as caesium decay

an atomic clock

Kept in a cryogenic vault:

“Street Sense, Street Sense. Two Dollars”

The secondary beats are filled by a wide

Cast of characters:

A woman waiting for a bus

On the corner, with her two kids

As they chase each other around her navy skirt

A willow sapling planted at the edge of the park

undulating breeze leaves

chromatic green in the sunrays

The squirrel nearby joins with its acorn

Clicking rapidly at the nut, episodically regarding me

convinced I will lunge for its treasure

At other times these band members

swivel towards the newspaper man

To make sure they are in time together

And nodding, bopping and smiling to each other, they recognize

They are

The overall melody is tuned to D and fretted so that

Once in tune

All notes are within the scale

And even a novice sounds pretty damn good

This being open mic night

Musical composites make it easier

For the old woman, with tennis balls on the bottom of her walker

To stay in meter

And the taxi to find a role in the refrain

Coming up in the next measure

The mosquito near my ear claims that it too

Is being signaled by some off-stage conductor

And is warming up on scales

Provoking in me a moral grappling

Maravira sat with in the 6thCentury B.C.

In what historians tell us is

Present day Northern India

Of whether to slap it or give it a pass

It occurs to me that I may also be participating in this song

And not just in the audience

(A photon can be in two places at once so why not I?)

Maybe I’m even singing or whistling in tune

As a dog-owner regards me and I regard him

But it is hard to gauge your own beat and song

without the modulated echo, the

reception & reinterpretation of another

The change in hand pressure

Of a good partner in a dance

that signals a move

Is coming up

Based on past experiences

I recognize I will soon make a choice

That I blame on karmic habit

Propagated since beginningless time

(Or so I’m told)

When, if past is indeed prologue

I will stop my attunement to this melody in D

And the dimmers will reverse as the house lights come on

And that affable hubbub returns

the once spellbound audience

Debriefs, check their phones,

Contemplate how to get out of the parking lot

Or at least that is how I think of it

Needing to start heading home

I want to return tomorrow. I heard this band

Was playing

All spring and summer


About Me

"Not all those who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkinn

I think of myself (as well as aspire to be) a curious person. Curious in a book store, but also curious exploring a new city or meeting a new person. Curious in planned and unplanned moments. In an era where knowledge about the world is both vast and deep, curiosity occasionally strikes me as anathema to expertise. Or, more accurately, if you are curious, best to be curious about some very specific topic. But so far at least, that does not seem to be my path. My professional work is orientated towards start ups as well as international development.

In 2019 I decided to make a more concerted effort to write - hence this site. My blog focuses on science and technology, health research and education. My fiction is of the speculative variety - Science fiction that uses scientific ideas to explore human experiences. Thanks for reading!

People Walking


University of Iowa, BA Philosophy (2000)

Johns Hopkins, MPH (2005)

Johns Hopkins, MBA (2005)

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ed.D. (2017)


©2018 by Dr. Luke Shors