The Second Law and me

The Second Law of Thermodynamics declares that energy exchanges within a closed system are not totally reversible because, taken overall, its internal order can never fully be restored, and that a quantity called entropy increases. That’s no excuse for being untidy, though – the Law does allow order to be restored local . . .


I’ve always had this mania
To lay out things in lines
Like pieces on a chessboard,
So everything aligns.

It started when I emptied all
Nan’s buttons on the table,
I’d line them up by size and shape
As straight as I was able.

Long lines were such a passion
That anything would do,
Like pennies, cards and cotton-reels,
Old books, and matchsticks too.

These days, I’m still afflicted:
In supermarket aisles,
I straighten up their labels
And neaten up their piles.

Their trolley parks excite me –
They’re left in such a state!
I sort them into nested packs
And leave them looking great.

I try to thwart the Second Law
Which states, as I’ve discovered,
That ‘order’ gets transformed to heat
And can’t all be recovered.

Well, I put things in order,
Reduce their entropy.
If you spot things all jumbled up,
Please get in touch with me.

[Photo: clipartkid.com; formula: Wikipedia]
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