Ok, this will probably be the last ‘crown of sonnets’ for a while, because my brain is totally fried. Over the last four weeks I’ve bashed out three of the damn things; that’s a total of 21 sonnets, or 294 lines of ‘poetry’. This, after going through a poetry dry spell that lasted for seven years. I put that caveat in because I’ve no idea what, if any, merit these sonnet crowns have (you’ll have to suffer my usual wonky metre). I’ll have to put them away with the mushrooms and then later try to judge with a more objective eye…
We’re made of star stuff, the qualia bright:
Descartes declaimed that Je pense, donc je suis,
splitting our souls from animality
(‘doubt’ shows possession of conscious foresight).
An abstract conception, the thing we call ‘thought’,
can make muscles shift – you can lift your arm,
no reflex involved, no mad flight from harm.
This ethereal puzzle also has brought
creative non-purpose, like Salvador’s trout –
causation looks for this mental estate.
Epiphenomenalists sit down and wait
for existentials of another kind,
while dualists naturally talk about
ghosts in machines, this mysterious mind.
Ghosts in machines, this mysterious mind,
does it only reside in the cellular rink?
can gaseous clouds or minerals think?
The mind-body problem will lead you to find
that maybe cognizance does somehow stride
in the inanimate. If you follow Gods
you’re already breathing in these sort of odds.
Maybe they’re Jekyll and we’re Mr Hyde?
One can’t know the other, but we can reply:
the concept’s too alien for the human eye.
Poetry struggles to codify thoughts
(just by such musing a rubicon’s crossed).
This sub-world’s elusive, but all is not lost:
we have machines that can chew ones and noughts.
We have machines that can chew ones and noughts:
metrical gating, the tongue’s binary,
AND OR NOT logic, cool Boolean sorts
cardinals with serpants, linked adders are key.
Prometheus rising, the dream was to see
if chattering circuits could mimic a brain.
If maths is a language the linguists agree
the challenge drove many a boffin insane
(you need other sums on perception’s plane).
The theorems were stinky, resembling Swiss
cheese. Calculus bound to a logical chain
with hubris and luck. The other thing’s this:
the digital realm is determinist.
Visceral life has a more random twist.
Visceral life has a more random twist.
To reach a reflection, an idea that’s taut,
we tear through all options, a myriad list,
until finding fine points that now are caught
inside the conscious. The mind’s more akin
to a chaotic battle that’s always been fought
between fierce indecisions until sparks begin
to live and to die in such resolute ways.
Nestling in folds of irregular skin,
consciousness bowls using awkward delays
(too fast for reckoning, the matter is grey).
It’s now time for thinking, it’s time to appraise
binary systems that can’t see the way
the mind is erratic, like a fly in May.
The mind is erratic like a fly in May:
limited neurons with diptera eyes.
In sharp shafts of sunshine flieges do flay
hours that are flying towards a demise.
Schizophoric creatures are full of surprise,
rolling and yawing and sideward translation,
aerial wonders that have to comprise
of massive amounts of tough computation;
which leads us on to only one assertation:
‘thought’ cannot work at a cellular level
(brain’s are too meager for such summation).
Molecules in thrall to a quantum devil:
Newtonian physics turns and unravels –
synapsis snapping, Gulliver’s travels.
Synapsis snapping, Gulliver’s travels:
the nuclear realm where electrons augment
abstract mathematics to spin and ferment
a weird realism. Schrödinger cavils:
the cat can be either now living or dead.
Superposition allows bits of matter
to take up two points in time that will shatter
our concept of physics, entangled ahead
of Planck’s proposal; wave functions arising
(an uncertain Einstein found it surprising).
ESP, spirits and light premonition
give this new theory some good ammunition.
Plants use the quantum, and so we will find
this stuff occurring is inside the mind.
This stuff occurring is inside the mind:
the act of observing forever effects
particulate matter, our conscious projects
to all points in spacetime. Existence defined.
The Cosmos resides in a sub-conscious pane.
Dream states provide us with the firm idea
that infinity brings on sweating and fear
(it’s kept in the box so that we remain sane).
A zoetic universe, from the humble fly
to us Homo Sapiens, we are all one.
Always alive, common minds never die.
Organic beings are fed by the sun
but spirits survive and don’t mind the night.
We’re made of star stuff, the qualia bright.