Tuesday, August 5, 2014

World Humanist Congress: Poem Dedication

The World Humanist Congress convenes on Friday in Oxford. The event held every three years holds promise for a more rational society across the world. In the spirit of the humanist effort I am dedicating a poem set out below. Let me simply say with regard to the poem's theme that I would hope that mythology could keep pace with developments in science and our overall knowledge base.

Best wishes to all of the delegates to the congress. May you have fruitful meetings.

Genesis RW

Born in a surreal cauldron
No Land for flesh or bone
Prior to Lucretius' Legos.
Simply sparks, energy in flux
Pregnant with fleeting strings, fetuses
Invisible to ultrasound. 
How can we see?

Spaceless place
Time an empty quiver
Constellations faceless
And Logos a barren womb.
Of such singular inferno
Of these exotic loins 
How can we speak? 

Inflating ripples, tidal waves,
Disdaining Light's borders
Conceive room to stretch.
A cooling brew, but left
Gasping for oxygen,
Vital to nurse the unborn             
Or rust still absent ore.

Swirling gas dervishes
Drunk on hydrogen
In ecstatic embrace
Fuse elements, first
To twinkling starlight, then 
Herculean outbursts
Viewed by none.

A universe flutters its wings
Abandons its fiery nest.
Dice rattle incessantly
Supernovae, meteors, orbs anew.
The lost cauldron's embers
Crackle from the depths.
Penzias, listen! 

Spinning galaxies
Spiraling solar tails
Entangled with satellites
Dance round dark sink-holes
Merciless, congested prisons
Shadowless Lands.
No escape!

Light, undefeated, races on
Surfing Nature’s memoirs.
Beam on Isle Earth
Its gurgling volcanos.
Come Spring rains reset 
Clocks to geology time.
Slow, slow hands.

Tiny replicators, jiggling 
Seeking minerals, sunlight,
Synthesize cloned twins.
Oceans green with algae
Smokestacks spewing oxygen
Gift predators breath to feed, breed.
Charles sets sail.

The Beagle tacks in trade winds
Tracking eukaryotes, pioneers,
Autotrophs and cannibals,
Gliding, drifting migrants,
Littering fossils, new tricks              
Of survival in brutal fields. 
A tangled course ensues.

Phenotypes proliferate, diffuse
Reptiles crawl from seas
Birds flock to the skies,
Aerial invaders 
Terrorizing feeding grounds,
Chirping in harmonic tune.
Song blossoms.

Great Rift Valley, plains, 
Rivers and smoking rock.
Clans of pithecines scavenge
Challenge parched nomads at ponds.          
Chip stone tools, hand axes,
Rippers and scrapers.
The armed thrive.

Trees aflame on the horizon
Fire stampedes in reckless fear.
Erectus hides in streams
Surveys smoldering remnants
Exhumes simmering meat, red coals
Builds model kindlings, vigilant guards.
The dragon is tamed.

Mt-Eve and Y-Adam,
Nurtured in these wilds,
Bond in flickering cave-fire
Through grunts and phonemes
Whittle words, a recursive phrase.
Memes taste glacial ice
Atop snowy peaks.

Spirits and gods assail the Land
Each bush and tree glows
Ghosts hover ominously.
A shaman poisons Adam
Priests lead throngs in hymn
Rally masons to stone wrenching grinds.
Temples reign.

Seeds fall on fertile minds,
Land mines bursting with corn,
Gardens are tilled, flooded, sown,
Aurochs corralled, penned. Villages
Camp on crescent banks 
Canoes shuttle currents.
A bridge is crossed.

Walled cities, braced by cedar
Transplants, tower over fields.
Chiefs seal pacts with priests
Perch on high thrones gleaming 
Newly mined gold under the sun.
Scribes bake myths in clay.
History hatches.

     “The universe has a voice," you boast.
     "And you, hubristic fellow, 
     Would portray its spokesman?"

Smelted metals shine
Swords and shields adorn men
Warring States Carpunt Diem.
Pillars quake, ignite, 
Collapse in clouds of ash.
Empires wane, wax anew
Neath untroubled stars.

     “All the Earth is a stage

     And all the players tragic soldiers.”