Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was written out of nothing really, just stream of consciousness thinking watching Blondie at Glastonbury on T.V. at the end of June, 2014.
The title and last line refers to a single thought of a small creature being superior in that way to great giant stars, which just work unthinkingly by thermonuclear reactions. The last line also plays on the British television series about a vet, All Creatures Great and Small.
So although the universe is mindbogglingly massive, life as we know it on Earth is the best we know for thinking. Here’s the poem:
Particular Preciousness of Thinking, Thought Superior to Reaction
crunch time for mortal minds
strangles infinite breath
day drags for damselfly
century crows to humanity
instinct, learning, loving, expiring
endless summer days
One’s outlook on life, age of calendar July
winter limits light
experience, remembering, warming, gripping
holding on for dear
life becomes more refined
sailing history’s horizon
all creatures greater than sun
The middle and bottom half of the poem contains details about the search for what matter is, as the ‘normal’ matter we think we know accounts for less than 5% of what is thought to be out there.
The first half of the poem plays on the double meaning of the word ‘matter’.
Not Everything Matters, All is Matter
why does nothing seem to matter?
what’s the matter?
what’s the matter with you?
what’s the matter in you?
what’s the matter around you?
what’s the matter you can’t see?
what’s the matter you can’t feel?
normal matter only 4.9%, 95.1% still a mystery
something’s sticking universe, scientists conducting experiments
it interacts with gravity, but not with electromagneticity
weakly interacting massive particles offer hope WIMPs matter because they impact atoms
theoretically energising nudged atom nucleus
flash photon and electrons release
creates detectable light for machines
hoping to identify
if anything beyond us really matters
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem celebrates the nap or siesta; small midday sleeps that are a part of humanity’s circadian rhythm, and are supposed to have lots of health benefits. Here’s the poem:
Circadian Rhythm, Poetic Decision
winter naps in northern hemisphere
toasty bright fire induced
daytime television seduced
recover brain, rest heart
escape cold, fresh start
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem contrasts humanity’s search for life on other planets and in the supernatural with the damage it is doing on our home planet. The BBC’s History of the World pulled no punches this week in describing how our species killed off the Neanderthals, and we look set to exterminate a lot more of our close relatives this century unless we change our ways, which looks unlikely the way this century and decade is going.
Sorry if it’s a little negative, and Marc is fascinated by all the space exploration… as well as liking humanity… just not everything our species does… and the priorities it sometimes seems to have. The world is still a beautiful place, and there is still an abundance of life at the moment, so make the most of it, and enjoy life. Here’s the poem:
Search and Destroy
digging the dearth on Mars
discovering minutest microbes,
exoplanets in the habitable zones
of faraway solar systems,
imagining angels above
waiting for sinning souls
ambitions of a species, degradation of our planet
centre stage the clowns
Jester’s acid tears,
melt the polar icecaps
creating new passages to pollute,
plundering nature’s riches
ignoring the beauty of Earth
Great news on the Folding Mirror book publishing front, as Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections was just sent to Kindle for review. It should be available soon if given the okay.
Here’s the book’s description:
242 is Dr. Marc Latham’s second poetry collection, after the first one was published by Chipmunka in 2009. The first collection contained poems written by Marc from his youth to the creation of the Folding Mirror form, while this book focuses on the FM form recognised by Lewis Turco in his definitive ‘The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, Including Odd and Invented Forms’.
Caroline Gill, an award-winning poet whose ‘Thalatta, Thalatta’ Folding Mirror poem was used as an example in ‘The Book of Forms’ provides an introductory explanation of the Folding Mirror form at the start of this book.
This book contains 121 Folding Mirror poems created in three years by Marc Latham as he tried to make sense of the universe and life’s place in it. They are supported by 121 reflections relevant to the poems’ themes.
The seven chapters reflect the wide spectrum of issues and topics covered, being divided into: personal-psychological (containing thirty-four poems and thirty-four reflections), social (19-19), culture (15-15), literary (12-12), nature (30-30), travel (6-6) and space (5-5).
The poems and reflections were inspired by the deepest thoughts of a PhD graduate and world traveller, and his new research and observations on the above subjects. Before and during his world travels and university education, Marc was inspired by Romantic and Beat poets, Rock musicians and other writers and journalists who have trawled the mind for self-analysis while searching for knowledge about human nature.
Marc’s first collection featured bipolarity and ADHD in the title, and included several poems inspired by them. These topics feature again in this collection, with the poet finding the mirror form especially conducive for bipolarity poetry.
From his position in the average age’s middle-age, Marc’s poems and reflections in this collection stretch from humanity’s prehistoric past to our current space exploration and prospective future, while also comparing us with the animal world, and tackling the important social and environmental problems of the present.
Having focused on hegemony theory in his doctoral research, Marc uses his poetry to try and break through the cultural ‘norms and accepted truths’ of the modern monotheistic world to highlight alternative realities that could possibly improve conditions for plant, animal and human life.
Marc uses the two sides of the Folding Mirror poem to show at least two sides of arguments and issues, with the folding line in the middle either connecting or dividing the two halves.
There is also time for beauty and comedy amongst the digging and depression, and some poems and reflections provide colourful light-heartedness to lift the mood.
Several of the poems posted as reflections were written while Marc undertook a 100-mile trek to view Everest in the Nepalese Himalayas.
It is hoped that as well as entertaining the reader, the poems and thoughts will support the preservation of life and nature, and improve human understanding of itself and the world.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by seeing the above image while writing a blog about humanity’s place in the grand scheme of things; and the explanation about how the improving of a lens can dramatically alter what we see, and what we perceive. What is true for space is also of course true for our world. Here’s the poem:
What we see is never
likely to be all there is.
It depends on what eyes tell brain,
the power and clarity of lens or media,
or the position of Earth and Sun.
Look to the sky and see the colours of day
when the planet’s axis tilts one half towards light
the other side of the world is viewing the stars.
How much of the cosmos is seen
could depend on whether in city or country
and whether an expert or novice astronomer.
Our mind often misses what’s there
and makes up what’s not.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem compares space and brain, which are both better understood now than in the past. This is because of advances in technology and the accumulation of evidence over the centuries. However, there are still many mysteries remaining, with the majority of knowledge about how both space and brain work beyond the reach of science at the moment.
Once upon time sky was mystery?
Filled only by the imagination?
no solar systems, galaxies and nebulae
lenticular, spiral, starburst
until technology was developed
telescopes delving into space
to the limits of observable
before the stars disappear
infinity beyond finite science
our origins unobservable in the unknown
universe is mine, mind is universal
we are happiest living within unconscious
cruising in a daydream
trying to enjoy memories
stored in the primal psyche
scientists scan the brain
finding how thought interacts
cerebellum, amygdala, hypothalamus
with nervous systems, life and world
Do we remember our creation?
Does it drive our desired destiny?