Stardust in our bones

Neutrons, protons and electrons compose
The entirety of atoms pervading The All,
Forming bewildering matter, objects and substances,
Ranging from dust to stars, planets, galaxies,
Superclusters, organisms, oxygen and water,
Living creatures.

Neutrons and protons in turn made of quarks,
Elementary particles, indivisible, positively charged.
Deprived of a structure of their own they strongly interact,
To create one and many zillion more.

Never alone always bound
In twos and threes, sparkling composites,
Hadrons at the heart of atomic nuclei.
Quarks making us.

While electrons, together with muons and taus
Only heavier but identical, are leptons,
The most common elementary particles in our world
Offer atoms their chemical properties.

Negatively charged, indivisible, smaller there are none.
Deprived of a structure of their own they weakly interact,
Frantically moving subject to electromagnetic fields.
Leptons making us.

Quarks and Leptons in conclusion
Minuscule nature of our essence shared
With that of all that exists. No wonder,
Everything in dualism persists.

Seeking harmonic balance and elegance,
A cosmos of particles interacting in countless manners
To materialise the entirety of energy in the Universe,
Shaping it with imagination and creativity.

As stars make gold, pressurised carbon diamonds,
Thirty trillion cells a human being, a human being a thought.

[Featured image: artist unknown]

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Ant Colony Structure

Ants are understood to form the second most complex societies on Earth after our own. Can we truly reduce such engineering to basic animal instincts or is there something more to it?

I was writing a poem metaphorically calling human beings ‘biped ants’ [see Social Animal] as they would appear from a far distance if someone were to look upon us from above, and as I searched for a visual to complement my words I stumbled upon this 2012 discovery.

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Ant Colony Structure retrieved by pouring molten metal into its tunnels

We have always been attracted by ants’ endless work and seemingly effortless labour; do they not know fatigue? We have also proceeded to pour liquid metal in their lairs in order to analyse the structure of their complex abodes, discovering fantastic structures so beautiful as to become bioart, as viewed in the picture above.

Yet this time, scientists in Brazil, led by Professor Luis Forgi, have uncovered a 46 square metre ant megalopolis, the biggest yet known to us, keen to be the equivalent for them of the Great Wall of China for us. A city with subterranean highways, paths and gardens, where each member has a role, from construction to fungus farming to waste disposal.

Check it out and bewilder in marvel for these extraordinary creatures, so small yet so mighty, which made to my surprise and satisfaction, my poetical metaphor all the more accurate.

Continue reading Ant Colony Structure

Social animal

What marvellous creatures those biped ants,
Inhabiting the terrestrial little dust sphere, third from its star.
A naturally social animal “living in a complex social colony,
with one or more breeding queens.”

What organised creatures those biped ants,
Arranging themselves in a hierarchical manner, to follow
Rules and be protected by their chief, whose interest is
The survival, wellbeing and self-enhancement of all.

What ingenious creatures those biped ants,
Drawing, inventing and building that which their mind can imagine,
Creating words out of nothing to tell each other stories,
Hand their wisdom over and down to their heir.

What intelligent creatures those biped ants,
Engaging and toying with thoughts and questions
To find answers to sentiments they spontaneously recognise,
Driven by curiosity to understand their potential and universe.

What extraordinary creatures those biped ants,
Capable of love and caring, so unusual and rare on other planets,
Believing in strength and justice, freedom and equality,
Marching for their rights and for them be willing to give up their lives.

What fragile creatures those biped ants,
So vulnerable to greed, arrogance, fear and complex,
Self-commiseration and self-loathing, punishing themselves
With self-destruction.

What paradoxical creatures those biped ants,
Dividing in colours, red or blue, black or white,
Unwilling to acknowledge that any idea is a good idea
If in the best interest of humanity as a whole and its home,

Regardless of who gives birth to it and casts the seed,
For it to grow.

[Featured sculpture: Ant Colony Structure retrieved by pouring molten metal into ant tunnels – Bioart]

Surviving will

I am double the age I was, in my darkest hour,
When nothing seemed to be, quite right,
When I gazed extensively into the depths
Of my abyssal dark brown eyes, only to fall
Desperately in love with my Self and realise,
No one could ever care for me
As much as I.

I am double the age I was, in my darkest hour,
When nothing seemed to be, quite right,
When I stared neurotically at my surroundings,
Observing my likes, breathing human beings,
Their pain, their strength, their cruelty.
None of it was good enough, for me,
Too much love, too much pain, too much grief.

We were too much, of a marvellous creature
To deserve living in anguish and gloom.

I am double the age I was, in my darkest hour,
When nothing seemed to be, quite right,
When I survived my own death and will,
And decided to love all, as much as I love I.

[Featured painting: Le Suicide, 1887 by Edouard Manet]

Black Canvas

For too long they believed
You were static, finite
In time and space,
An inanimate background
To existence, a black canvas
Dotted with stars, awkwardly
Evolving around us.

Forever will I be in ecstasy
Before you, your might
And dynamic motions,
So perfectly tuned as to provide
Humankind with life.

[Featured painting: Circle by Dimitris Tragkas, 1988 mixed media on black canvas]

Crowds

Watching the crowd I ponder
On all the crowds that came before,
Since the first chimps gathered
Ignoring what they might become,
And I question, ‘Does this crowd know?’

Demonstrating for peace, mourning the victims,
Demanding revenge, ‘obliterate’ another crowd,
‘Kill ’em all, none of ’em are me friends!’
Chaotic and confused, do they even attempt,
Meditating on who they are growing into and might become?

Depictions of crowds in history take me back
On the timeline of our journey, when Homo habilis
Came to be erectus, grouping under a shelter
Protecting fire to survive, evolve and develop.
How would he consider humanity today? Would he understand?

And what would early Sapiens think if he saw us?
Would he renounce the exodus from Ethiopia?
A crowd in search of new spaces to call home
Exploring the marvels of its curiosity and potential.
Would he turn around and spare us the distress of future conquests?

And when the last Neanderthal and Floresiensis died
And skins began turning light, anthropology to recognise
The survival of one and only Homo genus species,
Sapiens all worldwide, how did it forget who he was and where he came from?
How did it, or we, end up fighting each other out of fear and greed?

When did life stop being enough?
When did our mere existence stop
To bewilder us in marvel and delight?

Chomolungma

Each pace forward moved the summit further
As I climbed my Everest, twenty-nine thousand and six
Footsteps in the past, twenty-two more to go,
When suddenly the mount, the goddess,
Mother of the Universe, smiled at me from above.

Her grace was gentle though her presence alone
Felt like a menace. I knew I carried within me
All the ignominy of human being. An offense to her essence,
Physics and doing, ‘How dare I be there, scramble over
And trample her only to prove to my Self I could?

Fear suggested my surrender, retrace my steps
Back to humbleness, place my Self where it belonged.
Yet I froze and could not move, immensity had got the best
Of me, making me believe that I was too little of a creature
To attempt being greater than what I was.

The paralysing nature of such ludicrous belief had me
Hanging from a root seeking to survive despite it.
The goddess continued to smile at me from above, unwilling
To help, I thought. And as I was losing my grip, conquered by fatigue,
She spoke: ‘If you trust in me, let go!’ and so I did.

[Featured painting: Mother of the Universe by DiEnTra System – Healing Art]