We are not Alpha nor Omega neither #poetry

We are not alpha nor omega neither, rather
somewhere on that universal spectrum we can barely understand: 
we’ve done our maths, and claim to know the ratio of all things 
except the things we don’t, which we call ‘dark’
(we used to call them ‘God’)
but now 

we’ve made gods of ourselves, reasonable creatures, and the measure
of all rational achievement, progress
towards power to destroy ourselves
and all who abide with us
as we cry out ‘Hallelujah!’ ‘Men of reason, men of science’
always men, 
from the Big Beard in the sky on down
to all his henchmen here on Earth.

is taking time outside of time, just to
become aware that we contain whole universes just as
whole universes contain us
misunderstood continuum, this
disc with only one side
wonder, wonder
only one another
holding one, another 
world without end.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for Earthweal

For this week’s challenge, Brendan has asked us to consider the six elements of post-pastoral, or ‘ecopoetry’ identified by Terry Gifford in his essay “Gary Snyder and the Post-Pastoral,” and examine how these elements relate to our own work:

For this challenge, think about your poetry and consider how it works or doesn’t in relation to these six questions. You don’t have to address all—pick one, if you like—but give us a feel for what eco-poetry is about and where it should go.

I confess to writing the poem after reading Brendan’s essay then looking back to see which (if any) questions I’d addressed. I would say this poem addresses questions 1-3 above all.

The idea of a disc with only one side is taken from a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, ‘The Disc’ from the collection The Book of Sand.

38 thoughts on “We are not Alpha nor Omega neither #poetry

Add yours

  1. I hear you Ingrid. This is both moving and challenging. And yes, yes, yes to the God bit. I like this very much.

  2. I think Walt Whitman’s visions of the Universe 170 years ago, are now profoundly accepted as an amazingly accurate concept of modern science…
    “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
    ― Walt Whitman

      1. I’m half way through his book, and his style and rhythm has already influenced some of my poems already… just adifferent way of thinking about how I perceive my surrounds…. 🌏🌄

      2. Indeed so Ingrid .. my bookcase has, Emily Dickinson, Bob Dylan, W D Yeats, Leonard Cohen (lots), and many lesser known poet’s and now I’ve purchased Walt Whitman today!!

  3. I love this poem Ingrid. I’ve spoken before about our place in this infinitesimal universe, and this poem echoes that. The line in the first stanza about dark matter being what we used to call God is such clever observation. The little dig about men being predominant in this field is also very appropriate here. So, in a nutshell, wow!

  4. I love that you have gone big with this one, Ingrid, scrutinising the human condition and our place in the universe, and that we are on the ‘universal spectrum’ – a bit like being on the autistic spectrum:
    ‘we’ve done our maths, and claim to know the ratio of all things
    except the things we don’t’.
    And these lines are so true:
    ‘Men of reason, men of science’
    always men,
    from the Big Beard in the sky on down
    to all his henchmen here on Earth.’
    I’m always stunned when we tackle similar concepts in different ways, for example, the rebirth, cycle, world without end idea.

  5. Poetry is mind beyond mind, or, like an old friend once put it, three-deep: the psalm inside the song is notated by a universe we can understand only half-way, and trust our not-understanding to accord with the dark half of the universe. And if this is so, that Alpha and Omega are both essential element of the poetic ecosystem, then both creation and destruction are in the rhymin’ Tao. What I have a hard time getting through to is the destructiveness of humankind — it’s not a living response, but something created by meteors and black holes. How do you embrace that?

  6. what a spectacular tribute to universal truths of rebirth.
    It was woman that did the birthing so cheers to that! 💖
    And we will continue our mission and plight! Nicely penned Ingrid!

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