Apr 03 2013

National Poetry Month–Guest Poet 1: Kate Jones

It is, as I said earlier, National Poetry Month (here in the US, anyway). I am very happy to present my first guest poet, Kate Jones:

The two appended pieces were originally created for the bi-annual Gathering for Gardner (honoring Martin Gardner) in 2010 and 2012, the 9th and 10th such congresses of writers, thinkers, mathematicians, magicians, scientists and philosophers (and occasional rabble like me). I have presented these two pieces in various modified forms at other venues. The current embodiments have stripped all illustrations, leaving the essential text. Should you be curious to see the decorated editions, they are here:



I strongly urge you to visit–while I love these poems in the stripped down version below, it is even better to see them as originally envisioned–my own verses are only very rarely accompanied by any sort of visual… anything. It makes a difference; I am going to have to learn from this Kate.

For those too stubborn to click the links and see the poems as originally intended, the bare versions are after the jump:

Nine Fine Lines of Thought
by Kate Jones

From the Big Bang to the present, haikus summarize nine stages of this evolving process in a mere 153 syllables. The reader is asked to be aware simultaneously of two interlinking strands of thought: the evolution of the Cosmos and the development of an individual human consciousness.


The Big Bang
From core flung outward,
A pang of future promise –
And a child is born.


From Chaos to Order
Out of the chaos,
Clumps and patterns coalesce—
Ideas build rules.


Change and Replication
Orbits wheel and spin;
Change forges our spirit.
The template remains.


Life evolves
From waves emerged land,
And onto the land crawled life.
And from life came mind.


Change and Equilibrium
Transform – evolve – flow…
Dance in dynamic balance:
Knowledge yields wisdom.


Harmony of Opposites
Empathy mirrors
Images of “I” and “You”—
Duality sings.


Fusion finds its kind…
Minds meld cosmic truth to plan—
The birth of science.


Language and intelligence emerge
Thoughts and words: Time tools
Forge a world fit for the gods.
There are no limits.


We are the ladder.
All that is from that which was
Fulfills the promise.


From Singularity to Infinity,
A roundtrip through epistemology—
Ten rungs of progress to mark out the scale,
Ten verses to invigorate the tale…

by Kate Jones


1. Being—the interface to understanding
I am; what is it; and what does it do;
And what should I do with it, and with you?


2. Understanding—encoded through mathematics
Well, let us say that one and one is two.
That seems to fit, and so it must be true.


3. Mathematics—the matrix of language
There’s more—there’s deca-, hecto-, mega-, giga,
And peta-zetta-yotta, even bigga…


4. Language—the carrier wave of thought
So words are handy to give things a name
That others recognize to mean the same.


5. Thought—the vehicle of Reason
The wetware chortles in its galloping growth
And makes some rules to sort out what it knoweth.


6. Reason—the guardian of truth and reality
Debunk the junk, each fallacy and fad,
Though magicians show, illusions aren’t all bad.


7. Reality—that which is, in every form and structure
If it exists, it’s energy or matter
And other stuff, like cosmic background chatter.


8. Structure—the template of evolution
Life’s blueprint builds ‘em, weird or elegant,
Genes make both dust mites and the elephant.


9. Evolution—the ascent toward infinity
New combinations play with what makes sense,
Like fractals bounded by the longest fence.


10. Infinity—the birth place of being
160 billion light years through,
The Universe kept on till it made you.

And you, and you, each life just once appears,
To carve its meaning from its earthly years.

So fill each unforgiving minute’s span
With all the verve and gusto that you can.

The Universe, the world, and humankind:
Their priceless heritage—the sovereign mind.


1 comment

  1. 1

    I like them, and the Q*berty pictures. My favourite is Change and Equilibrium.

    I have heard that haikus are a different beast in structure of Japanese language, does anyone know if this is true?

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