The Universe (prompt 18 and 19, Hour 15)

Physicists claim the universe is shaped
like a soccer ball, and we are inside, with holograms
coating the boundaries,  projecting all possible angles of view,
individual and complete like Indra’s net.
Physicists claim that black holes extrude through the walls of space-time
like scattered spikes that can suck us out
of this universe to be birthed into another
(could we but survive the trip).

Physicists trumpet dark matter and dark energy,
places so black that nothing appears to exist.
Yet neutrinos that no one has seen pour through the gaps
in the known particles each second, for unknown reasons,
without witness, outside the range of sight, unfelt.
Why do they exist? Their only known property is
to bounce back when they are compressed.
Did neutrinos force the Big Bang? Do they drive expansion?

Gloriously, we, whatever we are,
evolved for this world and time,
small bags of water, composed of nothing
but billions of competing colonies of bacteria
made from particles of stardust.

We are animated by a life vibration no one comprehends,
that seems like music in constant motion.
We are eternity knowing itself as separation from oneness.
We have senses to experience this life, so knowledge blooms.
There is light, there is dissonance, there is movement,
there is separation from other things.
This is what it means to live.

We have sensors.

Quivering waves from space fill our ears with sounds
made in the ancient past, taking light years to arrive.
The shock waves of star births and atoms colliding,
of movement and the pulsing of galaxies,
of the slow drumming of black holes.
Even war cries and moans of devastation,
hymns of praise and nursery songs once sung
reverberate indefinitely through space,
creating, always creating.
We are moved to align and vibrate in reply,
like human Chladni plates.

Eyes and brains perceive fractured waves of light bouncing
and give the light names like crimson, gold and sky blue.
We give textures names like rough, smooth, gritty, soft, wet.
Label the tastes of bitter and sweet, sour and salt,
define the objects we start mouthing as infants.
The smells of sweet lilacs and hyacinth, of roses and lemons,
of urine and death, saturate us with emotion
and codify remembered experiences.
The senses define our experiences.
They are our puppet masters.

We were made for this world and this time,
inconsequential individuations of random origin.
We ride this elegant, blue planet whose beauty we uncovered
as we floated through space, and it exists because
competing colonies of bacteria formed from stardust evolved
to coalesce here, and experience shared explosions of sound
and vivid eruptions of colored light in this one location.

This small water planet rampant with life,
made real and unique by our angles of view,
is the unlikely edge of the universe.
We are learning it is our creation.
We are the creating creators and the created creation.
We are uniquely made to know it,
and it will swallow us in the end.

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