The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Derek’s Theory of Quantum Stiles

... a Derek the Dog Tale
Listen to the poem ...
Einstein phoned the other day.
Wanted to speak quite urgently
with my dog, Derek:
said that Derek’s theory of quantum stiles
was interesting but lacked empirical evidence
and wasn’t supported by the mathematics.

Derek disagreed:
described the process of walking with me,
taking the early morning river route
along the side of the Kent under Cumbrian skies.
Every gate and stile a quantum barrier,
separating countless possibilities
of constantly branching parallel universes:
facts on the far side of each wall blurred,
until the stile is crossed
with a new reality created through observation …

and sometimes rewarded with a biscuit.

First published in Tyger Tyger

About the Writer

Jonathan Humble

Jonathan lives in Cumbria. His work has been published online and in print in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first collection of poetry, My Camel's Name Is Brian, was published by TMB Books in 2015. His second poetry book, Fledge came out in 2020 through Maytree Press. His poems for children have been shortlisted and highly commended in the Caterpillar and Yorkmix poetry competitions and he is the editor of The Dirigible Balloon. His poems Masterclass and This Work is Done were chosen as the Milk House Poem of the Year at the end of 2022 and 2023.