Starfarer

A poem I wrote in March 2004.


My console’s silver stellar chart
Projects in holographic green
The distant points of laser-light
That mark the spots I’ve never seen.

A thousand times a thousand and
A thousand more – a thousand still.
A never-ending chain of them
That guides my engine where it will.

I wake to strange and shifting light.
How long before explorers came
Did color fill this ancient place
Without a number or a name?

I leave it far behind, at last;
Like all the wonder that I find,
It takes its place amid the dust
And wordless alcoves of the mind.

And now again the lonely stretch.
The yellow dot that marks my ship
Does not move visibly upon the map
That counts the progress of the trip.

A thousand years ago, the sea
Called out to us in cresting foam
With stars to guide our sailing craft
‘Til other hungers brought us home.

Where are we now? A thousand years
And boundless good, and boundless ill
And deep within the thing remains:
We go in search of dragons still.

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