This poem fills another square on my card
for the cottoncandy_bingo
fest. It's actually the last one written for my first card, which is at unofficial blackout status. There are three unsponsored poems, and a fourth that I'm planning to use as the linkback perk for the October 2 Poetry Fishbowl.
The following poem belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes,
featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page
Original (Schrodinger's Heroes)Prompt:
Tim the Tentacle Monster is feeling homesick. Morgan sympathizes. Bailey cobbles up a memento.Content Notes:
None.Ad Astra Per Aspera
Tim sat outside in the dark, not far from
the curving wall of the Teflon Tesseract,
flipping pebbles one at a time with his tentacles.
Above, the sky was vast and black,
thickly dusted with stars.
Gravel crunched underfoot as Morgan
walked over to him. She sat down
beside Tim and wrapped an arm around him.
"Sometimes I get homesick too," she said.
"In Hawaii there are constellations we can't see from here.
My favorite is Crux, or the Southern Cross. My people call it
Hanaiakamalama, which means 'cared for by the Moon'.
What are some of your favorites from home?"
Tim said something in the bubbly, swooping language
of his people, then translated, "You would say ...
the Four Knots?" He tangled his tentacles together,
then added, "The brightest stars form the corner knots."
Next he pointed at the Big Dipper. "Our Large Spoon
looks similar, but with more stars to make a round bowl."
"They sound lovely," Morgan said.
Tim looped a few tentacles around her. Morgan smiled.
It was taking some of the others a while to get used to Tim,
but she liked the feel of him, so strong and yet so gentle.
"It is a sad thing to be so far from home,"
Tim said quietly, leaning against her.
"Sometimes," Morgan agreed,
"but I do love the company here."
"I was fortunate to land among such fine companions,"
Tim agreed. "Alex suggested that we might attempt
the construction of a starship, but I am dubious..."
"I'll help," said Morgan, "and I have some other ideas too."
The next day, Morgan worked with Tim to make
a computer map of the constellations that he recalled.
Then she spoke to Bailey about fixing up the ceiling
of Tim's room to show him a familiar skyscape.
Bailey procured panels of thick blue plexiglass and
drilled holes of varying depths in it to hold tiny lightbulbs
and mimic the varying magnitudes of the stars.
Everyone crowded into the room for testing.
Alex turned off the lamp while Bailey turned on the stars.
Soft murmurs of ooh
merged with Tim's happy murble.
"Now I want one too," said Morgan.
"I miss the sky over Mauna Kea."
"I miss the northern lights,"
Quinn said wistfully.
"I'm going to need more supplies,"
Bailey said, rubbing his hands together.