Article in Arts / Literature / Poetry
Just as we never see the sun but only the APPEARANCE OF THE SUN EIGHT MINUTES AGO, so, at night, when we look at the sky, we see only the light of the past through space-time.

For All We Know

Quinci si può veder come si fonda
l’esser beato ne l’atto che vede
non in quel ch’ama, che poscia seconda.
Dante, Paradiso 28.109-111

Thence can be seen how is founded
being beatified in the act that sees,
not in the act that loves, which comes after.

(rendering deliberately literal, almost word for word)

We think we live in space and need to know
Nothing more than that – the rest doesn’t matter.

Actually we live in time, which is space
We can comprehend, otherwise too vast

For life that can scarcely share a watering hole
Much less the black holes at galaxies’ cores.

Entroping space time regulates our senses
In sync with body heat needed to live

In an organism exquisitely wasteful —
(Do you know how important shit really is?

(Try living without it a week and … well …
You might rethink your godhead — or head god.)

We have known for centuries time and heat
Conjure space as we experience it

(The Second Law of Thermodynamics) —
Because we die in time we live in space,

No other life able to know itself
As we, fragmented in time, know ourselves.

We are able to tell the time of space
Otherwise unknowable to our brain.

For space we never grasp. Just the light of space
Billions of years old — all we see is time.

Time is all we can see our being so
As, for all we know, we are all we know.

Knowledge therefore is the passion we follow
If we’re to learn where, as well as when, we are.

Random fluctuations of quantum waves
Yield the conditions of mortal freedom.

Accidental coherences converge
When forms emerge through high-energy particles

Trailing incoherence, as turbulence
Tails every resistance to entropy,

Such as the order I dig from the earth
When in my roses, working on my knees,

I stay on my toes — I weave these materials
With no connections other than my heat

Which stars in my body and burns it up…
And the waste of these connections consists

In vanity and pompous cant — you snark? —
Manure for matter that might grow out of it.
R Allen Shoaf Identity Verified

About the Author 

R Allen Shoaf
EROTIC RECKONINGS, my second volume of poetry, can now be purchased from New Plains Press or from Amazon. My third volume, PIED-PIPER PHILOL

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For All We Know

Just as we never see the sun but only the APPEARANCE OF THE SUN EIGHT MINUTES AGO, so, at night, when we look at the sky, we see only the light of the past through space-time.

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