Weak Ties & Loose Ends

Written on 2008-03-24 13:29:26
I had a lovely weekend. Good conversations tend to do that. I wasn't actually productive but maybe my brain was just digesting all that talk during my leisure. Also, my OLPC XO finally arrived. I've had some fun with it though there are things to get used to. I'm trying to get it set up to work with my needs a bit better which essentially means getting Gambit-C and emacs-nox installed. I'm also throwing XFCE on it for a more conventional work environment. Also, I can confirm that The National's album Boxer was the best album of 2007 that I've heard. It's phenomenal. I'll post more on all that later.

I really feel like I should read something tasty about Ontologies and Knowledge Representations or maybe Peer Production. I don't know. I need to empty my head out. Finally, here's a tasty Neruda poem to start off the week but it's behind a cut because I don't normally post poems this long.

Ode To The Atom

Infinitesimal
star,
you seemed
forever
buried
in metal, hidden,
your diabolic
fire.
One day
someone knocked
at your tiny
door:
it was man.
With one
explosion
he unchained you,
you saw the world,
you came out
into the daylight,
you traveled through
cities,
your great brilliance
illuminated lives,
you were a
terrible fruit
of electric beauty,
you came to
hasten the flames
of summer,
and then
wearing
a predator's eyeglasses,
armor,
and a checked shirt,
sporting sulfuric mustaches
and a prehensile tail,
came
the warrior
and seduced you:
sleep,
he told you,
curl up,
atom, you resemble
a Greek god,
a Parisian modiste
in springtime,
lie down here
on my fingernail,
climb into this little box,
and then
the warrior
put you in his jacket
as if you were nothing but
a North American
pill,
and he traveled through the world
and dropped you
on Hiroshima.

We awakened.

The dawn
had been consumed.
All the birds
burned to ashes.
An odor
of coffins,
gas from tombs,
thundered through space.
The shape of punishment arose,
hideous,
superhuman,
bloody mushroom, dome,
cloud of smoke,
sword
of hell.
Burning air rose,
spreading death
on parallel waves,
reaching
the mother sleeping
with her child,
the river fisherman
and the fish,
the bakery
and the bread,
the engineer
and his buildings;
everything
was acid
dust,
assassin
air.

The city
crumbled its last honeycombs
and fell, fell suddenly,
demolished,
rotten;
men
were instant lepers,
they took
their children's hand
and the little hand
fell off in theirs.
So, from your refuge
in the secret
mantle of stone
in which fire slept
they took you,
blinding spark,
raging light,
to destroy lives,
to threaten distant existences,
beneath the sea,
in the air,
on the sands,
in every twist and turn
of the ports,
to destroy
seeds
to kill cells,
to stunt the corolla,
they destined you, atom,
to level
nations,
to turn love into a black pustule,
to burn heaped-up hearts
and annihilate blood.

Mad spark,
go back
to your shroud,
bury yourself
in your mineral mantle,
be blind stone once again,
ignore the outlaws,
and collaborate
with life, with growing things,
replace motors,
elevate energy,
fertilize planets.
You have no secret
now,
walk
among men
without your terrible
mask,
pick up your pace
and pace
the picking of the fruit,
parting
mountains,
straightening rivers,
making fertile,
atom,
overflowing
cosmic
cup,
return
the the peace of the vine,
to the velocity of joy,
return to the province
of nature,
place yourself at our service,
and instead of the fatal
ashes
of your mask,
instead of the unleashed infernos
of your wrath,
instead of the menace
of your terrible light, deliver to us
your amazing
rebelliousness
for our grain,
your unchained magnetism
to found peace among men,
and then your dazzling light
will be happiness,
not hell,
hope of morning,
gift to earth.
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Unless otherwise credited all material Creative Commons License by Brit Butler