Thursday, April 7, 2022

New Murfin Verse: Cosmos, Consciousness, and Creator—Me! for National Poetry Month 2022

Some of the things that pop up regularly on my Facebook page are posted from Big Think which popularizes advanced scientific research and speculation for the reasonably literate lay person.  Most often I glance at the summary but delve into the articles from time to time.  Frankly, most sail over my head.  Sometimes articles contradict each other as scientists advance different hypotheses.  An awful lot sails right over my head.

I am no scientist, philosopher, or theologian—some of the most speculative stuff seems to demand that, too.  I am a humanities major who dropped out of college and spent most of my working life as a blue collar worker, janitor, and gas station clerk—manifestly incompetent to understand much of what I read.

But in my head I strung together a fragile paper chain from different posts unrelated to each other.  Blame me, not science, by my perhaps bizarre take away.  Thus. this new verse.

Detail from the Fountain of Time, a monumental sculpture by Lorado Taft in Chicago's Washington Park near the University of Chicago.

Cosmos, Consciousness, and Creator—Me!

April 6, 2022


Those scientists are at it again!

According to what I read,

            some of them think that maybe

            the cosmos, everything,

            can be explained by quantum mechanics,

            so can consciousness,

            and everything might be

            the creation of the consciousness

            that observes it.


That’s me, if I get this straight.



If somehow you are reading this

            I guess it means you too,

            but damned if I know if

            your universe is anything like mine.


It also means I am responsible for the whole shebang—

            the Big Bang, the Milky Way sky

            from a Montana mountain top,

            super novas, and galaxy devouring black holes,

            the extinction of the dinosaurs,

            and Krakatoa East of Java.


And for all the works of Shakespeare,

            even the ones I never read,

            the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Starry Night,

            Hieronymus Bosch, your toddler’s

            finger paint smears.

            Fill in the blanks for the other noble arts.


Then there are the people,

            every blesséd and blasted one of them

            since Lucy in that African gorge,

            all of their stories and quirks

            from knuckle dragging hunters and gathers

            to walking on the Moon.


And if I die, which seems likely,

            will they go pffft with me

            or will they go on screwing and dying

            because having set this thing a-spinning

            it just goes on and on out of habit?


All the beauty and grandeur of all those folks

            but also the Black Death, the Inquisition,

            slavery, the Holocaust,

and every babe mowed down

in yet another school shooting.


It’s all too much.

I can’t stand it.

Which is why I evidently invented God,

            who I don’t really believe in at all,

            just so I would have someone

to point to and say—

“It’s not me,

It’s him/her/they/it.”


Am I off the hook?


—Patrick Murfin


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