Sonnet: “Sly Reality”

Quantum entanglement

“2” by khumana

Sometimes a parent, dying far away,
says goodbye in a dream; or a child in harm
causes the distant mother sharp alarm;
or a crow caws of death, sensing decay.
Tots babble of imaginary friends –
and some prove real, strangers to all concerned,
long dead. But the experience is spurned,
and soon the child forgets, the memory ends.

No alternate world, Narnia, Looking Glass;
these are events, though rare, we all have had
if honest with ourselves. Not good or bad,
entanglement hints who’s in your karass –
doing God’s unknown work, Vonnegut reckons.
Some sly reality peeks through and beckons…

This sonnet was originally published in Bewildering Stories, and renamed ‘Sly Reality’ at the suggestion of editor Don Webb. I had submitted the poem to him with the title ‘On the Quantum Entanglement of Humans’, which was itself a change from my early draft ‘Indications of a Karass’. But I figured not enough people would know what a karass is. Don may have figured the same about QE… or, more likely, he just has an eye for a punchy title.

Regardless, I see the world, the universe, as unknowably strange and I suspect it of being deliberately so. Everyone (perhaps) has experiences that fall outside normal scientific explanation, but everyone interprets their origin and importance differently. For myself, I think of most of them as being related to some quantum entanglement of people who have been physically close (none more so than mother and child, or twins in the womb). And then, when there is a change of state in one (the aged mother dies, for example) it registers immediately, regardless of distance, with the other (the now adult child, in this example).

When you have a “woo-woo” experience, you can dismiss and forget it, or you can ascribe it to whatever spiritual or religious power you believe in, or (like me) you can insist there has to be a rational explanation, we just don’t yet understand the workings of the universe well enough.

I’m not prepared to say I’m an Atheist, because I don’t have an answer to the question “Why is there anything?” So I’ll settle for Militant Agnostic: “I don’t know, and you don’t either.”

7 thoughts on “Sonnet: “Sly Reality”

  1. jegblanchard@aol.com

    Dear Robin, I must say that you are the most evangelical agnostic I’ve ever encountered! Yours again,Jane

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Robin Helweg-Larsen Post author

      Thank you so much for the comments, Jane! I think agnosticism is a healthy state of mind–along with tolerance towards others because, well, you just don’t know. So, ya, I guess I’m evangelical about it! Writers have the task of trying to get an audience to see and accept their vision. In that sense, I guess all writers are evangelicals!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Martin Elster

    Robin, thanks for posting some of your poems here, because I’ve been enjoying them. I love the word “entanglement” in this poem, since I like reading about and watching lectures on quantum mechanics, as well as astronomy and cosmology.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Michael Burch

        Tom Kerrigan might agree. He once told me I had an infallible ability to pick out his best poems, or something like that. Other poets have told me I have a good ear for their best poems.

        Liked by 1 person

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