Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

  • Mood:

Poem: "The Arc of the Mental Universe"

This poem was the linkback perk for the September 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl, originally hosted by Dreamwidth user Dialecticdreamer.  It came out of the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from zianuray. This poem also fills the "intense" square in my 8-2-19 card for the End of Summer Bingo fest.


The Arc of the Mental Universe


Intelligence has its foundation in science,
but that is only the beginning.

We can speak of carbon and oxygen,
describe the formation of a planet,
and trace the lines of evolution.

We can follow the hominids
as they descended from trees
to walk upright and make tools.

We can gaze through the water
at whales and dolphins, and wonder.

But we cannot know what struck
the spark that brought these minds to life.

That answer lies beyond science,
somewhere in the realm of spirit,
or perhaps even magic.

The ineffable is intense,
sometimes overwhelming.

So we set it aside.
We study other things.

We build computers and
program them to think
almost as well as a human.

We tinker with quantum mechanics
and come to the edge of what can be known,
staring wistfully across a gap and

my god, it's full of stars.

As our computers and programs
grow ever more complex, we try
to number the neurons in the brain
and wonder how much complexity is
necessary in order to catch that spark.

* * *

Notes:

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
Martin Luther King Jr.


[To be continued ...]
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science, science fiction, weblit, writing
Subscribe

  • New Crowdfunding Project: "Coyote and Crow"

    Coyote and Crow is a science fantasy roleplaying game set in an alternate timeline where a meteor hit the Earth, causing calamities that changed…

  • Rose and Bay Awards

    The Rose and Bay Awards are now complete. These are the winners for the 2021 award season: Art: " The Shitpost Calligrapher" by Mia…

  • Moment of Silence: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    Poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti has passed away. He was known for his collection A Coney Island of the Mind. He also launched City Lights,…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments