Primordial

Lighting swirls amidst deep, dark shadows, thunder echoing off of silent cliffs somewhere in what will someday be called Cambria. 

Hints of far off cataclysms, dankly diluvial, sail on primordial winds as dusk’s crimson fingers claw at night’s sapphire, diamond flecked cloak.

Albian haze swiftly quickens into mist, threatening to cleave into drops, larger and larger drops, possibly armies of rushing drops, drops plummeting like raiders plundering unsuspecting shores of a world still virginally young, a world yet to yield to the tiny warm blooded invaders who’ll someday evolve into hominids. 

But not just yet. 

Soon though.

Much, much too soon.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  However, he is also fascinated by mythology, religion, physics, astronomy and mathematics, especially with matters related to quanta and cosmogony.  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Ferocious Seduction, a senryū of sorts in e minor flat

Theia: Terra’s bride, Luna’s mother,

A passionate meeting, a vicious mating, a climactic birth

shrouded in violence.
 _______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Poetry

Poetry is hard to define. 

Sometimes, it’s best defined by denying those aspects that most associate with a poem.  Rhyme, meter, strict structure, even alliteration and consonance.  Then again, perhaps the definition of poetry, of what constitutes a poem, is very personal.

To me, the essence of a poem is the creation and sharing of a wave-like sensation that carries both the writer and the reader along an emotive trail, sometimes brief, sometimes expansive, as though one were surfing but on a gently melodious wave floating over a series of profound abysses into which one might chose to wander, lost but questing.  Beauty or horror may be present, but perhaps they can be melded subliminally into something incomprehensibly sublime, perceptible only in a silent and indiscernible language, one only the soul can fully understand.

Then again, there’s rhyme and meter, strict structure, even alliteration and consonance; there’s metaphor and simile; allusion and illusion.  Shades and shadows and echoes and rainbows, hummingbirds and dragonflies and sometimes just dragons, … or maybe frogs.
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Sayonara Baby!

Phineas was in a pithy mood, although he didn’t know why.  Fortunately for him, he didn’t care why, he was just enjoying it.  Perhaps today would be the day he’d finally write something, and if he did, why he might someday get it published.

Phineas was not the easiest name to bear, but he managed it good naturedly, although he wondered just what his parents might have been thinking when they’d endowed it upon him.  It wasn’t as if they’d named him after someone for whom they deeply cared, or even knew.  Apparently it had something to do with a film a long time ago, based on a book about a wager concerning travelling around the world more quickly than then seemed possible.  But then, his parents had conceived him in the sixties when decisions were sometimes made based on chemically induced spur of the moment epiphanies, quickly discarded.

It wasn’t as if he was often epigrammatic, he tended to be a bit vague and indirect, lost in phantasies; perhaps a bit like his parents had been way back when, way back in the day, so to speak.  Interesting phrase that, “so to speak”.

Anyway, perhaps Phineas had decided to turn over a new leaf, not a vegetable leaf, at least not directly, a metaphorical leaf, so “pithy” was his word of the day.  He dressed nattily, for a change.  He usually favored jeans but today, dress pants it was.  And a vest, even though it had once been his father’s.  And a tie, even though it was paisley and paisley had been out of style for a while, except, of course, among the vintage crowd (of which he was not a member in good standing).  “Hmmm, shoes” he whispered to himself.  A problem as most of his were old tennis shoes or sandals, not a loafer to be had, or an oxford.  And tennis shoes and sandals tended not to qualify as pithy in matters of haberdashery.

Of a sudden, his pithy mood did not seem quite as satisfying as it had, as though a wind had whipped the page he’d sought to turn back to where his book of life had been.  Speaking of pages, he’d need some paper if he was going to write something, or a pen, or a computer, or a tablet, or a cell phone.

“Damned shoes” he thought out loud.  “Who needs them”, although it seemed obvious that they might be a necessary accessory to anyone, who, feeling pithy, had decided to dress nattily, which at that point, no longer described Phineas.  Fortunately for him, his apartment was not large, rather small really, and cluttered with non-natty accoutrements.  And he’d not yet made his bed (almost a tradition).  So back into bed he plopped, to hopefully dream non-pithy dreams.

Sayonara baby!
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Magic and Miracles, a senryū of sorts in e minor flat

Sooooo, … on the nature of magic and miracles,

Seemingly metaphysical fraternal twins stamped on the same coin,

Albeit perhaps on different sides.

_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Of Birds, the Homeless and Me: Something to consider

My quandary with pigeons, with birds really, is that while they are, in some aspects, beautiful, especially in flight; they’re so damned dirty, albeit unavoidably so, at least in urban settings where, from time to time, they seem to weaponize their waste, occasionally against me, albeit more often against my car and most frequently on the tenth floor window sill of my apartment, a space near a tiny garden set in a ledge my wife and I have planted in a nook outside our kitchen window where it abuts another little window at the side of our dining room.  A place where pigeons enjoy nesting and giving birth, and to which they enjoy returning after they’ve hatched.  I wonder if it’s a form of passive aggression, passive aggression like that inherent in so many humans whose lives seem to have been wasted and who find themselves figuratively littering the streets of their more fortunate brethren.  Of people like my wife and I and our friends and acquaintances.

Litter, the weapon of choice of disenfranchised humans and birds alike.

Doesn’t our reaction to them say more about us then it does about them?  Doesn’t it reflect our all too comfortable hypocrisy?  Our inability to accurately reflect introspectively?

Many decades ago, in an amazing oxymoronic piece, oxymoronic because her voice was so beautiful and the theme so dark, Joan Baez planted the seeds for what I write today, she planted those seeds in my soul when I heard her ballad entitled, “Their but for Fortune”.  It helped me become a human being, a human in the positive sense of what we should be rather than what we are.

Something to consider on a beautiful day in a city in the sky, on the central range of the Colombian Andes.  

Something to consider anywhere, … really.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

The Children of Lilith

At first, “the” Garden was vast, infinite, eternal, encompassing all that was.  Of course, since then, infinity and eternity have both significantly expanded, but remember, just before the purported Big Bang, the universe, perhaps even the multiverse, all right, maybe even the omniverse were a singularity no larger than an atom.

Anyway, after the unpleasantness with Adam and the Creator, Lilith wandered through the Garden for time without end, or, almost without end, somehow evading them, unseen by them.  That sort of raises questions about the Creator’s ubiquity, omnipotence and omniscience, the answers to which do not please him at all.  But the facts are the facts, at least usually.  Quantum theory may dispute that conclusion.  It’s hard to be omniscient and omnipotent in a quantum world.  Ubiquity?  Well that may be another matter as perhaps “everything” is, in fact, ubiquitous.

Notwithstanding her ability to evade the Creator, somehow the Garden continued to provide her with everything she required.  It was still beautiful, but she detested the presence of the man, her brother and former spouse, and at first, she also detested his meek new wife.  Of the Creator she saw and heard nothing and experienced only his reflected glory, as though he had (hopefully) forgotten her.  At least that had been her aspiration, … and her plan.

Without interaction with the Creator or with those two other beings somewhat similar to her, Lilith grew bored, very bored, and sought without success to relieve that boredom.  In her boredom she became more like the trees in the Garden than like the animals.  She became quiet and still and solitary.  And she created a world inside of her mind where she preferred to dwell, … (like the Creator had already done, perhaps several times).  Today, we might have called them both autistic.

But finally, on a day more memorable than most, the Garden just disappeared from around her. 

The changes were subtle and drastic at the same time.  Most notably, the communion between living things was severed and each became sundered from all others.  And the animals no longer understood her and the trees seemed less willing to share their fruits with her.  And the insects attempted to feed on her whenever they could.  And the weather changed, alternating between wet and dry, hot and cold, sometimes violently.  And she wondered what disaster the stupid man and his timid consort had raught.  But she did not regret whatever they’d done as she sensed that it had loosened the bonds that had imprisoned her for so long.

While for some that was a day of utter and complete, inconsolable sorrow (e.g., for her ex-mate and his new consort), for her it was the day of liberation.  After that, perhaps quite a while after that, or perhaps not, time was young then and inconsistent, harder to measure, she came to know creatures of a sort who had once been some of the Creator’s angels, beings who shared her distaste for the man, former angels whom the Creator had exiled during one of his temper tantrums, and she also met a formerly eloquent serpent who had been the other woman’s pet but was now cast away.  And she spent a very long time with those former angels.  And the serpent became her friend.  Eventually, the chief among those former angels became her lover, for a time, and a friend forever.  In due time, as tends to happen when friends also become lovers, even if briefly, she became a mother; a mother to twins, a boy and a girl whom she named Enlil and Nammu.

And Enlil and Nammu grew up among those exiled angels and being unique, and incest not yet being frowned upon (how could it be despised with everyone, at that time, being closely related), they became lovers and had children of their own.  And those children also propagated until, in time, they formed a clan, then a tribe and then a nation.

And the exiled angels also found lovers among the children of the man, Lilith’s brother and ex-spouse, and of his timid new spouse, and those women also bore children, children who were only partially human.  And those children called themselves the Nephilim.  And Lilith, whom the Nephilim called Ninhursag, was considered by them to be their queen and their goddess. 

Because of her unpleasant experience with Adam, Lilith did not accept any man as her spouse, as a being for whom she would forsake all others, but she did form close bonds and relationships.  Polyamory was inherent in her as she had a great deal of love she was willing to share.  One of her special friends, a friend with “privileges” but definitely not rights, was called An by the Nephilim, and he became their king and their god, the god also of those former angels who’d been cast out of heaven.  An was rarely present in the places Lilith chose as hers, as his business seemed to keep him occupied elsewhere, which suited Lilith, as she had never been taken with the concept of subservient domesticity. 

The Nephilim became famous among men (at least for a time) because, although they could be killed, they were not normally mortal, and they eventually became thought of as gods by many clans and tribes and nations.  But after a time, most disappeared from the world we know, and no one knows whether or not they still live, and if so, if they will ever return, but some people believe that some of the Nephilm have stayed among us, hidden, and may even discreetly intervene in human affairs from time to time.

Lilith has long remained very private so that not even her children are sure where she might be, or even, if she has evolved in a manner that none but she can understand, or whether she ever reconciled with the Creator (unlikely), or perhaps, whether she outgrew him, … and perhaps us as well.

But some of us still recall her, despite the efforts of those who follow the Creator to erase her from their history, or failing that, through calumny, to make her hated and despised, cast as a source of evil and monstrosities.  And as women have become more and more enlightened, it’s as though her spirit somehow acts as a catalyst for equity and empathy.  Something which irks the Creator who continuously seems to mumble, … “will no one rid me of that horrid creature”.  But if he couldn’t accomplish that deed, it is unlikely anyone else can do it for him.

At least not until time ends and space vanishes and the Creator himself is long, long gone, and Lilith, perhaps bored once more, decides that it is once again, time to move on.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; revised, 2023, all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Dessert Fit for Poets, a haiku of sorts in e minor flat

Onomatopoeic veracity, especially if spiced with consonance and assonance and set in alliteration amidst scents of allusion, and metaphor and simile.

Mmmmmmm
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Insouciant Reflections on Temporality

There are realms between instants, whether waking or lost in thought, instants with histories of their own and their own laws of nature, peopled by persons we seem to know, sometimes intimately, but at other times not at all.  They are fully formed for just that eternal instant, and then, usually, they’re gone, receding in inverse ratio to how much we try to keep them close.  But not always.

I experienced one of those recently, transitioning from one dream to another, first focusing on many of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.  Then the dream morphed into speculations on how those errors might be corrected.  Humorously I considered how easy it was for grace-based deeply religious adherents of Abrahamic faiths to effect corrections.  First, admit the transgressions to the divine; second, feel honest regret; and third, ask the divine for forgiveness.  Sort of a compressed version of the twelve-step program recommended to repentant alcoholics but without having to seek forgiveness from the ones harmed or having to attain a recompensive balance.  No such luck for me, I thought, I’m a sort of orthodox agnostic panentheist, but perhaps, in abstraction, I have my own sort of solution.  At the other end of the spectrum, of course, there are the “laws” of karma and dharma and the Wiccan Rede.

The instant then morphed again into a sort of para-scientific panacea situated at the border shared by the spiritual and the mystic, the normal and the paranormal, science and philosophy, fantasy and reality.  It went something like the following, which I’ve sought to reconstruct from that instant’s psychic residue.

Try to imagine, eerie, mystic music as you read, perhaps played by enormous sentient whales, eavesdropping on my speculation concerning the interaction of physics, philosophy and the supernatural.  After all, in a dream, even a very brief one, it seems anything is possible:

My discourse, no introduction, it just starts in the middle:

There are purported givens in physics and philosophy with which some people, I among them, do not agree.  Not because through research, trial and error our interpretations of hypotheses have raised reasonable doubts, but because, as suppositions and purported facts and premises are fed through our cognitive, we experience intellectual heartburn, intellectual rejection, … without understanding why.  A sort of intuitive reaction.

For me, two fundamental premises of modern physics just don’t ring true.  That nothing can go faster than the speed of light and that time is irreconcilably one directionally linear, or that it is linear at all. 

The latter caught my fancy as I sat at breakfast with my wife, lost in that world we inhabit where we ponder, perhaps influenced by dream like experiences as we transition into wakefulness. 

In that dream-like state, I saw time, in its more linear variant, and as it applied to me personally, as though it were a private phenomenon.

Reflecting on my introspection, certain hypotheses occurred to me:

  • First; that linearly, time is anchored by two singularities, one on each end, one in my absolute future and one in my absolute past, each generating tides and eddies, waves breaking, creating an ever changing ephemeral balance. 
  • Second; that chaos, in the sense of all possibilities inchoately coexisting, is the ocean on which everything floats or else, subsides, submerged in a strange sort of Jungian subconscious, somehow linked with everyone and everything, but tenuously. 
  • And time?  Time is the behemoth which feeds on chaos, digesting those aspects it finds comestible and excreting them as apparently untransmutable order. 

But “apparently”, I recalled, is a qualifier.

Then, based on the foregoing, I posited that there are also ever increasing and strengthening eddies, counter currents and riptides originating in the past, comprised of nostalgia and regret, and that the further from the past one travels, the stronger they swell.  The pull of the past’s singularity irresistible but impossible to re-claim. 

I’d go back if I could, to relive moments that, in a sense, had become sacred, and to correct others that now seem profane. 

When I was young, it was the inchoate singularity from the future which was strongest, but as more and more chaos was digested, it was the singularity at the other end, the one I call past, that expanded its event horizon and gained in strength, and which made me wonder at the choices I’d made, the options I’d elected from the options chaos presented and on which I’d acted, converting them into what I perceived as realities.

Traditionalist theories, to me mere hypotheses, claim that entropy is intrinsically tied to temporal phenomena, that as one moves between the temporal singularities I imagined, entropy increases.  Something seems odd there as increased entropy seems to involve an increase in disorder, and an increase in disorder seems to imply a movement back towards chaos and away from order, the opposite of what I’ve instinctively postulated, which perhaps explains why I instinctively reject the notion that time travel towards the past is impossible.  Instinctively but perhaps also rationally, based on some sort of inchoate perception.  It seems an explanation, a connection I sense, although perhaps others, for their own reasons, may agree.  We live in a world that seems spiraling towards a new Dark Age as social pressures increasingly forbid is to think what we will; conformity, ironically in the name of diversity, like another singularity, a malevolent form of gravity, driving us away from the light.

I draw comfort from the wonderfully magical world of the quanta.  A rebellious outlaw world that keeps throwing obstacles at today’s Einstein premised universal laws.  As in other areas impacted by those miniscule rebels, hypotheses labeled theories relating to entropy which tie it to the purported second “law” of thermodynamics, appear to break down as reality approaches the micro.  In doing so, they lead me to intuit that quantic uncertainty might tear that specific premise apart, disassembling it into non-physical, elemental particles, each going hither and yon as each possible perception survives in realities of its own.  And that provides a bit of less emotional, more intellectual support for my predilections.  It also provides hope for a future free of conformity’s restraints.

The quantic seemingly justifies my insouciance as I wonder at the nature of linearity, and at how improbable a one-dimensional concept is and how three dimensions multiplied through time create spherical realities with infinite poles each anchored by singularities impacting the version of reality that applies to me.

As I exited my reverie, a warm feeling suffused me as I recalled that String Theory and M Theory posit that, based on mathematical probabilities much less fanciful than my predilections, there are probably many more than just four dimensions with which to play, … if only we could find them.

Then, … as usually happens, my visions and my perceptions and fantasies began to dissipate, increasing rather than decreasing the number of unanswered and unanswerable questions in which my psyche loves to bathe. 

I wonder what I’ll think, … sometime in some future, … as to what I’ve just written should I happen to read it again?
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Karmic Echoes: a haiku of sorts

Karmic echoes: self-sustaining strings of interlinked sins.


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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.