Skip to main content

Rubbing in Poetry: Friction Seeks to Slow Us Down

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

Friction and the natural forces over time can build or demolish a village.

Friction and the natural forces over time can build or demolish a village.

We Can't Avoid Friction

Encountering friction is an inevitable part of life. In the winter, we may get a shock from static electricity after rubbing our favorite wool garment and touching metal. The sound created by the bow across the violin reminds us of how pleasant the product of friction can be. Of course, the rubbing of our brake pads against the rotors causes our vehicles to stop for our safety. These are just some ways in which we deal with friction daily.

Friction can be defined as the resistance caused by one surface moving against another. The strength of chafing is measured by the coefficient of friction. For example, steel moving across steel has a higher coefficient of friction than skates on an ice rink. But there are other types of friction not determined by this value. Instead, such tensions are quantified by societal norms and beliefs. Indeed, friction seeks to slow us down.

Reader Poll

Shall we storm the castle!

Shall we storm the castle!

Dinner for the Night

There once was a knight who one night,

Decided he needed a bite.

Thoughts of ordering out a royal hassle,

Brave warrior aimed to storm the castle.

In his reckless and quickened pace,

Silly fellow didn’t tie shoe lace.

Bothered not he stormed with a hoot,

Slippery moat caused him to lose his boot!

He regretted not riding steed into town,

As his head without helmet kissed the ground.

He fell with a broad frightened smile,

“Did the King receive his order of crocodiles?”

We hear you knocking. Go away!

We hear you knocking. Go away!

The Collection Day

I knocked with fervor on the door of the church,

No one would answer but sounds were berserk.

I said with emphasis, “Please, I’m here to pay.”

Someone shouted, “Hey! Dude, go away!”

I listened to the happenings inside wondering if I was right,

Gambling was rampant and there ensued a fight.

Stone walls vibrated with flung about chairs and bodies,

I realized not my landlord’s abode but an unholy party.

I thought these aren’t people with their curses and tart voices,

I took a wrong turn and found a house of dark forces.

And my spirit told me haste best my bones,

Thunder parted the air: He without sin threw lightning through church of stone.

Do what you must daily and live with the odds,

But I will not cast wagers against my God.


I’ve heard reports of an unidentified flying plate last spotted near Mars.

I’ve heard reports of an unidentified flying plate last spotted near Mars.

Uncommon Plate Tectonics

The holiday demanded I cook out and grill,

I pulled out burgers and things at will.

Tossing everything I could find upon the flames,

I planned to feast recklessly with lack of shame.

I applied too many peppers too strong the sauce,

When food found my plate: count-down-things went aloft.

Away and up my plate sailed to sky,

Didn’t bother at all to say good-bye.

A neighbor screamed, “Look! The air force needs a report.”

“It’s my dinner.” I said, “Be a good sport! “


I tuned the radio and listened to frantic calls,

Somebody saw my plate zooming pass a mall.

Fishermen claimed it zipped willy-nilly over lake,

A missile filled with a feast was my soaring plate.

Astronauts swore something zipped by leaving Earth,

If green men catch it maybe they will bring me dessert.

There might be aliens I can’t be certain,

But hunger for the day left my stomach hurting.

If you glance skyward seeing round object soaring by,

Remember a man for his dinner shakes and cries.

Not from disease nor need of fresh tonic,

Alas, L.A. and I both have problems with plate tectonics.

I’m coming up and friction will not stop me.

I’m coming up and friction will not stop me.

friction Seeks to Slow Us Down

Soiled and plowed under ‘til morrow,

Heels upon hills digging deeper,

Pounding into dark earth:

Separating grains to be pushed again.

From places where light doesn’t touch,

Fertilizer feeding my fight,

Freedom promised in May blossoms,

From within struggling to grow out.

Grasping, grabbing, wrestling to sunlight,

Grounded to dirt row no more I plant roots,

Stretching my new season out to the stars,

Breathing pollen my future near and afar.

When winds pass pleasant and taste my spring scent,

When bees buzz seeking my colored blooms,

When harvesters nest and feast upon my seed,

Friction lost this year to my fragrant leaves.

Friction is Expensive

Truthfully, we seldom notice the friction around us, but there are extraordinary repercussions pertaining to the constant drag in our lives. In fact, several sources indicate 20% of the world’s energy consumption is devoted to defeating friction. For instance, nearly 30% of an automobile’s fuel consumption is related to overcoming the force which halts forward or reverse motion. In addition, airplanes expend enormous amounts of fuel to fight friction as they fly. Various building surfaces wearing away in houses, shoes against sidewalks, even clothing thrashing about in the washing machine and dryer are all examples of the costs of friction. Consequently, scientists are taking note of these situations and designing materials which have super lubricity. Surfaces which exhibit super lubricity have a coefficient of friction which is near zero.

Likewise, imagine the creativity exhausted due to continuous struggles between human beings. Rich nations squander resources at the whims of a few while citizens within the country neither have clothing or shelter. We argue my god is superior to yours. We decide who will eat and drink. We emphatically ask: Does my right to exist supersede yours?

Reader Poll

Books about Friction Fighters

Although eliminating friction in society and on Earth presents difficulties, many individuals have given us guidance on rendering the friction between humans to null with the process continuing, tearing away the resistance to change. Coincidentally, since 1908, the world has cheered for Olympic ice skaters, recognizing their physical abilities and skills. Yet, bursting onto the world stage in the 1980s, break-dancing undoubtedly requires incredible stamina and agility as well. But the athletic form of dancing will make its debut at the Summer Olympics in 2024 in spite of objections from some countries. Below I’ve provided different books about inspirational people who sought to bring about change and end some of our struggles. These individuals are merely a sample of people and the diversity of ideas and approaches to reducing global stresses. Read and find out about others who worked to make civilization run smoothly.

  • Eknath, E. (2011). Gandhi the man: how one man changed himself to change the world. Tomales: Nilgiri Press.
  • Benjamin, P. (1991). Nelson Mandella. New York: Stevens
  • Fankhouser, K. (2018). Susan B. Anthony. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc.
  • Patrick, D. (1990). Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Franklin Watts.



Related Articles