The Universe is a Loud Place

NASA has recorded the interactions of electromagnetic particles from solar wind, ionosphere, and planetary magnetosphere, and translated these vibrations into sound waves.


Lie on your back

on the front porch,

look up at the sky,

at the white gutter,


up at the wooden ceiling,

the hanging pots heavy

with ferns. Look up

at the cumulus clouds,


their flat undersides

and cotton-ball tops.

Look at the air

above your house,


picture the multitudes

of electromagnetic waves

wiggling their ways above you

from radios and microwaves,


cellphone towers and stereos.

Consider the infrared light

warming the pavement,

the neighbor’s sleeping dog;


the visible light of the sun,

streetlights at dusk;

the ultraviolet, x-ray, gamma

waves flashing across galaxies.


Lie on your back and tell me

you feel them, their buzzing

and whirling, their constant

motion. Tell me. Tell.


-Alexandra McIntosh

Alexandra McIntosh lives and writes in Kentucky, her favorite place in the world. She received her B.A. in Recreation with an Emphasis in Adventure Leadership from Asbury University, and is currently working on her M.A. in English from Northern Kentucky University, and her MFA in Poetry from Miami University. You can find photos of her poodle named Grizzly Bear on Instagram @the_real_alexmac