No Human Is Inadequate For Art

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John Milo “Mike” Ford (1957 – 2006)

Against Entropy

by John M. Ford

The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.

One of the things I enjoy about this project is how I can suddenly come across a writer I have never heard of based on trying to find a sonnet related to a certain topic.  This is how I stumbled across John M. Ford’s outstanding sonnets. In reading several of his poems, and about his life, I instantly was saddened to learn of his untimely early death from complications from diabetes as he sounds like the kind of person I would have enjoyed reaching out and attempting to meet face to face.  He was a fellow Minnesotan, living in Minneapolis, an accomplished celebrated fantasy and science fiction writer, game creator and poet.  I will have to check out my local used book stores and see if I can find some copies of his award winning short stories and novels.  Ford was a passionate supporter of the public library system and I have a feeling is applauding Mayor Carter’s decision in St. Paul to eliminate library fines so that library resources can work for everyone in our community.

Entropy is a natural topic for a sonnet for those of us who like to combine poetry with a bent towards science occassionaly.  Why?  Is it because the entire structure and formality of a sonnet requires that the writer bend a bit of their creativity towards order and away from the natural tendency towards disorder? Entropy is the ability of things to change, particularly man made things but also in nature.  At the molecular level entropy is the tendency of a natural state towards migration, for mixing of elements, for there to become a natural equilibrium of complete fusion, rather than elements segregating. Maybe we should see migration on a human scale as the same natural state of achieving equilibrium as entropy?   How do you think of entropy? What is its opposite in your  mind?


by John M. Ford

Sufficient time for faith and miracles
We find we cannot fit into our days;
And nothing’s left at all that joyous dwells
Inside the heart. The spark of spirit stays
Too small for dreamburst, and all earth may prove
Inadequate for art. No human is
This potent all alone, and fear kills love . . .
Love kills fear, and alone; all-potent, this.
No human is inadequate for art,
For dreamburst; and all earth may prove too small.
The spark of spirit stays inside the heart
That joyous dwells, and nothing’s left at all
We cannot fit into our days. We find
For faith and miracles, sufficient time.