Life’s Meaning

Alan - Menomonie, Wisconsin
Entered on February 21, 2008

The Earth is four and half billion years old,

the stratums, folds, fossils alike

with rocks of thorium behold.

An age for which, at canyon’s ledge,

is an enormous well of time,

a well too profound for the mind.

O comfort announced from preacher’s sound –

“Rejoice and proclaim the good news,

our Savior will ride to our side and

make light our burden found.”

Holy text presents most of what’s real,

and this is our truly modest zeal.

With patience and perseverance scientists toil,

to unfold our twisted meaning of self.

Ah hah, the twist is helical and coiled.

Using tech tweezers of incredible smallness,

the DNA appears as a mechanism of baldness.

The blueprint for life is a molecule –

of magnificent beauty and seemliness.

The grandest of all theatres

is the election of government leaders.

They declare with conviction of great mastery,

that their plan is undoubtedly the best deal.

But nah, I say, objective knowledge is scarce

when obfuscation and distortion create such a farce.

Perhaps, simpler, the atom

is the element that matters.

Ode to the atom the Greeks did conceive.

It binds us, feeds us, gives us our chatter.

And Nobel’s dynamite makes us believe.

Of particles swirling, spinning, and splicing,

in that great dance of conception we interweave.

The world today is all about trade.

We mine, pump, process and plunder.

We grind, mold, and widgets are made.

For thou is great goes the WTO thunder

crying globalization, free trade to equalize the wealth.

Can population, consumption, and increasing waste

be sustainable and good for the planet’s health?

Need faster growing trees or sweeter honey from bees?

Can one think of a more bodacious motivation

than genetically engineering a cure for disease?

Cloned cows and xenotransplantation,

along with GM crops to feed the masses,

is biotech’s search for elation,

but without safety and ethics unfolds a morass.

Genetic modification, at the molecular level,

induces angst in Kosher laws bedeviled.

I believe that what we believe

is fraught with human fallibility.

Shamans, charlatans, hoaxters conceive

a plan involving vulnerability,

and statisticians, magicians, and politicians deceive.

Credulism, placebos are tools of atrocious taste

in bringing us supplements, diets, and a wrinkle-free face.

Oh science, be solace for societies chaotic pace.

In light-years, telescopes, and planets plentiful,

observations awaken our wonder of space.

Stardust are we, the oracles declare

reflecting Einstein’s delight of nature’s mathematical grace.

Our humbleness, indeed, astronomy makes bare.

Life is precious but meaning diffuse.

A virus is not alive but the human spirit is.

Computers may someday converse and amuse

or alien life be found;

these, for life’s meaning, would certainly confuse.

Would electrons, protons, and neutrons composing the brain

allow the search for life’s meaning to be vain?