Monday, October 31, 2016

2 Divergent, Contradictory Ways of Human Perceiving

Poetry versus prose, fact versus story,
symbolic versus technologic,
intuitive versus rational,
emotion versus logic,
experience versus learning,
reason versus tradition,

religion versus science,
transcendent versus temporal,
sacred versus secular,
spiritual versus material,
supernatural versus natural,
personal versus impersonal—

What bipolar opposites!

Yet within everyone of us, the human species, homo sapiens.

Some thinkers claim they are irreconcilable.

Yet from a different angle, these 2 ways of perceiving, “seeing,”
so often divergent and opposite, do sometimes interrelate.

They aren’t always extreme clashers/antithetical/
contradictory/mutually incompatible/
not always (as in never shall the twain meet)
like “fundamentalists” of religion
and “scientilists” of science adamantly claim--incompatible.

But they do, indeed, offer 2 very different ways of perceiving reality.

The HUGE question is whether those perceptions are mutally exclusive
or complimentary, even married as in the old saw--opposites attract:-).

The issue of these 2 divergent ways of perceiving is like the old joke about sex:
Is the word, sex, an acronym for
“sensitive experiential ecstasy”?
the short term for biological interaction between a primate
with XY chromosomes with one with XX chromosomes?

Or like the joke about the elephant versus the mouse in the room?

It’s ‘irrelevant’;-
like these last few lines.)

#1 Our first contrast:


From the Jewish, Christian, Islamic religions,
the ancient text of Genesis (written 500 B.C.E.
in Babylon by Jewish scribes as a poem to honor
the 7th day of Shabbat)

1 In the beginning of G-d’s preparing the heavens and the earth — 2 the earth hath existed waste and void,
and darkness on the face of the deep, and the Wind of G-d fluttering on the face of the waters,
And G-d said, "Let light be; and light is."

On the 4th day of Creation:
14 And G-d said, "Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens...and the stars..."
And there is an evening and there is a morning, day 4.



From the Lecture 113--8. Early Universe
by astronomer Chris Impey,
University of Arizona, Tucson

"...the frontier of knowledge is...the Planck Era. An amazing ten to the minus 43 seconds after the big bang.

Conceptually, this is a time in the infinite universe when space itself was as curved as a particle. When the distinction between space and time did not exist. Or the objects in space and the space that contain them. This was when the universe was smaller than the smallest subatomic particle.

Just thinking about the Big Bang, it's an extraordinary event. A 100 billion galaxies and a 100,000 billion billion stars they contained were all compressed into a space smaller than a sub atomic particle. What the big bang theory really says is that...
The universe itself was created in a quantum event...

...a theory of black holes, of galaxies, and a theory of, of atoms, of light, of force. So we have two great theories of physics, the theory of the very big, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and the theory of the very small, the Quantum Theory...

The exponential expansion of inflation essentially blew up quantum fluctuations to macroscopic size, where they would subsequently become the seeds for galaxy formation. That same expansion of course, is responsible for the flatness and smoothness of space. Whatever the initial curvature, and it must have been extreme, space has now inflated to an enormous size, or space curvature in any large region is negligible.

This idea puts the microwave sky in a whole new light. What is says is that when we look at the microwave background radiation through a radio telescope, we're look at quantum fluctuations writ large on the sky, the seeds for galaxy formation.

So hypothetically, about a microsecond after the Big Bang, the universe would have had a temperature of about a trillion degrees. That's the energy from which neutrons and protons can have their anti-particle pairs created spontaneously out of pure energy. Below that temperature, or after that time, such creation is not possible. The speculation is that there was a very slight imbalance in the amount of matter versus anti-matter.

From the time a few minutes after the Big Bang until just under 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe was simply an expanding and cooling plasma, cooling from a temperature of 10 million Kelvin down to about 3,000 Kelvin. When the universe reached this size, density and temperature, it reached the point where electrons could combine with protons to form stable hydrogen and also helium atoms.

It takes perhaps 100 or 200 million years after the Big Bang for the first objects to switch on
as light bulbs in the sky. Stars and galaxies."

The first account is poetic story, from us finite primates looking up and creating,
telling a narrative of meaning.

The second account is factual prose, from us observing,
discerning objective facts in the cosmos.

Are these two perspectives totally contradictory?

Is a complete divorce necessary as some secular scientists
such as biologist Jerry Coyne
and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins think?

Or are the two opposite accounts, a sharing couple, committed to interaction
like geneticist Francis Collins
and cell biologist Kenneth R. Miller think?

According to the astronomer Chris Impey, the two views are interelated:

"We're made of tiny subabtomic particles and are part of a vast space-time arena,
yet we hold both extremes in our heads....the powerful narrative that science
has created to help us organize and understand the world.

We have a story of how the universe grew from a jot of space-time to the splendor
of 50 billion galaxies. We have a story of how a broth of molecules on the primeval
Earth turned into flesh and blood.

And we have a story of how one of the millions of species
evolved to hold those 50 billion galaxies
inside its head."
How It Began page xii,
How It Ends, page 11

BOTH the poetic and the factual intrigue me; I love both ways of perceiving.


In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Q.C.Humor #12: Remember Planking?

Remember planking?

Then there's always plenty of plankton in the ocean at the beach.

And, of course, don't forget pelicans, so we give you the plankton' pelican--
a post dedicated to punning, poetry, and all manner of lyin' of the innocent sort.

*The term plankton comes from Greek, planktos,
"errant," and leans toward the meaning of "wanderer."

*Pelican is related to to the Greek, pelekys "ax."

'Ax' not what this website can do for you but what you can do for this jabberwobblied jungle.;-)

What did the 3 pelicans say as they flew off from the roof of a Friends' meeting house in North Carolina?

Been there, dung that.;-)

Heard the story about the 'fun-gal' and the 'fun-guy'?

The couple, Gus and Gal, thought a great way to spend an evening was dining out on mushroom-stuffed cuisine.

"It's a lot of fun,Gus said;-).

The Quaker lady in Northwest Yearly Meeting endured her husband's groaning puns, but she had a bone to pick with him when he commented on her accidentally
banging her elbow (the funny bone) on his filing cabinet in their study.

For he laughed and said, That's very 'humerus.'



Sitting Duck

There in the urban lagoon
You are sitting drunk on Mountain Dew
Gabbled to the long-boarded bar
Waiting for another sotted-shot
To blast
Through your flapped brain,
One more mallard
For the boat-tender

-Daniel Wilcox
First published in Word Riot,
also in Dark Energy,
2009 by Diminuendo Press

Clammy Chops

I scooped in one huge mouthful of savory chowder
Swimming with succulent salmon reconnoitering
Wild from Alaska—my taste buds buzzed into singing,
But the stupid phone in the kitchen rang, yanking me.

I dropped my creamy spoon and rushed through the open door--
Wrong number! Frustrated, I slammed down the white thing,
Tended to nagging errands clanging for attention;
But then heard a loud slurp ... slurping 'round the den corner.

Oh, no! I rushed back into the aromatic room
And there crouched Fizzy, our calico, her cream-rootbeer
Mugged head raised, pleased, above the scent-wafted white bowl,
Just "fin-ished"—her pink tongue wiping those smiling chops.

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in vox poetica,
also in my book of previously published poems,
selah river, 2012

Heard about the Catholic-Mormon couple who had a large family of a dozen kids?

A negative neighbor criticized, "Haven't they heard of family planning?"

But another more philosophical neighbor with a bit of wit said,
"No, but they've heard of family planting!
They been spending lots of nights of sleeping together, dozin';-)"


"I've traveled all over America," Sam stated.


Ah, Bird Poop Van

Ah, bird poop van,
there in the far corner of the fast food lot
where wind-blown paper congregates,
and you squat against the curb,

a rusted Ford Econoline home,
spattered with a thousand puked starbursts
of smell on your dull finish,
a metal fadedness of has been.

Your owner in his tourist-trash hat
and long dirty hair hanging to his collar,
squats on the splattered grass,
grizzled before his future demise,
a throwback to Ashbury
where he used to panhandle.

He sits with his wilted wildflower
in her faded jeans splotched with patches,
sipping their mocha coffee on the matted grass
wary for the squad car to cruise by again,
and roust them out of their corner nest
under the gilded arches.

But, oh, you rest and rust so easy–
at least there are no fowl in sight.

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in The Bicycle Review,
also in, Dead Snakes, and
selah river

No, Eve, I won't touch that apple," he said adamantly.


The So n' So Argument

A modern couple lives on the seismic line
This of Sam 'n Andrea as in the city, so summered
Of Gardena, you know, Ada-'n Eve-r on, oh so pummed
Their hysterical house divided down geological;

They argue and argue until at the crack of dawn
Displaced tension 'rictors' up through their disjunction,
Until, until...they both shout, bellow so loud, "So,
It's YOUR fault, not mine."

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in Media Virus Magazine,
also in selah river

"My pet whale has died," Ahab blubbered.


Gum Up

Notice how ‘theoillogicalies’
Gum up the worded worlds

Stretchnosepuppet the truth

Jaw-chewing, teeth gnawing
It all out of shape
Are the ‘dickens-dammed,’
Bubblegummed worst

To remove

Undersides of study desks
Or our floored mind

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in Poydras Review,
also in Dead Snakes and
selah river

"I used to be a pilot," George explained.


Playing 'Heir' Ball

Our historic cat coughed up
a wadded brown object,
and yarned...

Ah forget
that long-winding 'tail';
go pell-mell
to your cultural
what was
your latest

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in The Clockwise Cat,
and in Dark Energy, my first book
of previously published poems,
2009 by Diminuendo Press

"She tore my valentine in two," said Romeo, halfheartedly.


confused poet

ever hear
of the absent-minded poet
who plunged his teeth
and flossed their toilet?

-Daniel Wilcox
from Dark Energy,
Diminuendo Press

"That's no pedigree; it's a mongrel," Tommy muttered.

"When I saw the snake, I became very upset and was rattled," said Martha.



Hugging his Friendly spouse, he whispered into her ear, "I love to camp with you," he said intently.


Has planking become an endangered species?

In the Light-hearted,

Daniel Wilcox

Friday, October 14, 2016

Powerful Evidence Against Theology, But for Science, Reason, and Hope

Conjoined Twin Boys Successfully Separated in Rare Surgery


Twin baby boys conjoined at the head were separated on Friday in a nearly day-long operation at a New York children’s hospital.

Thirteen-month-old twins Anias and Jadon McDonald were successfully separated at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and were undergoing reconstructive surgery...

“And then there were two,” the kids’ mother, Nicole McDonald, wrote in a Facebook post early Friday.

She added in a follow-up post: “TWO SEPARATE BABIES!!!...and yet I ache with the uncertainty of the future. I didn’t cry until the surgeon’s left the room. I was barely able to even utter the words “thank you” because of the pit that still sits heavy in my stomach. We are standing on the brink of a vast unknown.”

Dr. James Goodrich, who has now done seven craniopagus separation surgeries, led the risky procedure and broke the good news to Nicole and the boys’ father, Christian, around 3 a.m., CNN reports.

“Well, we did it,” he said, according to CNN. The surgery has taken at least 22 hours.

“When they told me they were wheeling Jadon up first, it took me a second to comprehend,” Nicole wrote in a Facebook post Friday morning.

“I actually asked why they rearranged the room because I hadn’t really internalized the idea that there would be 2 beds in here. Welcome back my sweet Jadon.
Happy rebirth day.
Anias is still in surgery believe it or not...
maybe 2 more hours.”

The journey to the separation has been a long, emotional one for the family. The parents had to decide whether to go through with the operation, even though the surgery included major risks like death or brain damage to the children.

“There was times where I just...didn’t want to go there and think about the fact that, you know, one or both...could maybe have a handicap or something like that,” Christian told CNN ahead of the surgery.

“I think now I’m at the point where I do that that is a possibility and, if that’s the case, It’s not gonna change anything. I mean, we’re still gonna love them. They’re our boys.”

Now, although the children have been separated successfully, the family has a long road ahead.

“The next few months will be critical in terms of recovery and we will not know for sure how Anias and Jadon are recovering for many weeks...So we just took a huge leap of faith, but now we are back to taking baby steps.”

The wonder of modern medicine and hope!

In the Light of Reason and Technology,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Conundrum of Emphasizing What You Are NOT

Here's a baffling conundrum of modern society:

I have a complete lack of belief in
but I don't emphasize that I am an A-Muslim (a- means "without").

I have a complete lack of belief in
but I don't emphasize that I am an A-Calvinist-Augustinian!

So why do so many now
emphasize what they have a complete lack of belief in
that they are A-theists?

It reminds me of a short reflection by the astronomer,
Neil deGrasse Tyson,

“You know, the only ‘ist’ I am, is a scientist.
“It’s odd that the word ‘atheist’ even exists. I don’t play golf.

Is there a word for non-golf-players?
Do non-golf players gather and strategize?

Do non-skiers have a word and come together
and talk about the fact that they don’t ski?”

Atheists are now claiming that all human infants are Atheists at birth.

And I might add, are all infants at birth
A-Golfers, A-Skiers;-), etc.?

Thanks, Kurt V.

In Light-hearted satire against this weird Trumpped world,

Daniel Wilcox

Monday, October 3, 2016

harvest or 'leaving'

harvest present
autumn 'leaving'

burned-over dreams in the rusted oil drum
behind our faded house of fallen child
midwest blown by dark thundered storm

hedged branches, clumped together on the lawn
waiting to become ashes wafted cumulus
piles of browned cuttings lost to history

yet writing stems up greening between
lined cracks in the disjointed concrete walk
behind our parsonage, weeds of wonder
between hard slabs of the displaced past

in front, raking my fallen memories up
shoving those windblown scatterings
off our green lawn, dumping them over
down into a gully-ditched pile

rising up, 3 feet of dry-colored splash
a crinkly mass of discarded leaving
bursting red-scarlet, yellow-gold, orange, and tan
for struggling kids-of-heart to jump in

-Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in Words-Myth Magazine,
then in the poetry collection, Dark Energy
Diminuendo Press, Texas


Leaving Off Leaving

Leaving in the fall of harvested years
Dark colors shade and give to grayness,
Vibrant and vivid memories fade away
Scattering with the barren wind of winter;

The past burst of life firework-spangled
Now only falls dead embered and ashed,
Sometimes one last fizzle of brief autumn.

Leaving off leaving

Leaving behind our shining, aspiring dreams
Dark forebodings rise, failed hopes fragment,
Broken crumbling shale of envisioned plans

Crunch under the shifting strata of history;
Now only grit, gravel and dust remain, 'ore'
The grimmed remainders of old 'talings.'

Leaving off leaving

Leaving off these soul somber dirges, we go
Deeply inward to the eternal equator
Of the transcendent within our inner becoming
Where ‘psalms’ forever green in their vivid verdancy
Of that brilliant light that candled the cosmos;

Behind this anguished world so fallen to despair,
Shines forth one Ultimate’s ideal, the shimmering
Lodestar of illuminable-illimitable
Beauty and glorious perfection.

Leaving off leaving

Regrets--life's most wept weapings, keen,
Laments leafing we never stop shedding,
Streams flow ever ill-crease and redden
The puffy setting of our swollen eyes.

Our plummeting wailing into the dark catacombs
Of elder age like black matter, forgiven wrongs
And destroyed hopes refuse to leave our troubled self
Dimming the Light shining into becoming.

Leaving this leaving

Relentless remorse and despair cancers away
Morning from tearing up in geysered joy.
And we grieve our journey'd 'trial' to demise,
Our only hope the Everlasting Divine.


--Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in the poetry
collection, selah river


Fall Impression

In that fall of Nebraska's weather so dying,
Sun-jaded trees ungreened and thundered color

Reverberating the world, 'Gogh'ing to the limit;
They left tremoring rainbows burst earth-bound and shingled

In that wind--melted yellow, orange, and maroon,
Fingerpaints jagged, leaved in those black wrought branches;

Then with the stroke of more rogue northerly gusts,
The zagged etchings counter-wheeled in swirling emotion—

Hacking our senses, 'hueing' our minds until acrylic glazed--
And so reeled and rolled diagonally down in that kaleidoscoping Monet.

--Daniel Wilcox
First pub. in The Write Side Up
and Dark Energy poetry collection

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Saturday, October 1, 2016

a short true story for when one is overwhelmed by the world's troubles

a true account for when you are overwhelmed, when events are going wrong,
from Swanee Hunt:

" old woman...lived in a little town in Croatia.

Every day she had one job, to go at noon to the church, to take the ropes
that were tied up on the wall, untie them, pull on the ropes,
and ring the bells in the tower.

During the war [Serbia-Kosovo-Croatian War] in village after village, when the Serb forces came in tanks, they would shoot up all the houses of the Catholics, the Croats, and then they would end up at the church.

They would go to the church and shoot up the church. At the very end they would shoot the tower.

Then they would roll out, and it would now be a Serb town.

This old woman whose church had been shot up, every day you would find her in the churchyard at noon.

There was wood splintered everywhere, but in the middle of the debris, the big bell
that had been in the bell tower
was lying on its side on the ground.

Sophia, this eighty-year-old woman,
was bent over with her old gnarled hands
grasping the clapper
and swinging her arms,
the bell.

I carry Sophia inside of me,
and I hope you will.

No matter what the circumstances
in which you are working,
in which you are living,
your job is to keep
your hands on that clapper,
ringing the bell."

by Swanee Hunt, diplomat, ambassador, founder of Hunt Alternative Fund,
for advancing innovative and inclusive approaches to social change
at local, national, and global levels, and professor at Harvard
from Global Values 101: A Short Course Edited by Kate Holbrook,
Ann S. Kim, Brian Palmer, Anna Portnoy

Remember the classic words:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

by John Dunne

And here's a little throw-away punning for those who need a laugh,
as well as a wing and a prayer:

To misquote the old Zen question--
What is the sound of one hand clappering?

In the light of hope and truth,

Daniel Wilcox