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Poem: "What the Starships Do Not Know" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "What the Starships Do Not Know"

This poem was written outside the Poetry Fishbowl proper, but connects with the series about phobic starships; you can find the ohter poems via the Serial Poetry page.  It is presented here as the free perk for the June 19, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $100 goal for a free $15 poem. 

What the Starships Do Not Know

These are the things the starships do not know
that could hurt them:

     What they believe is a stardrive
     does not actually work as intended,
     can move them into hyperspace
     but not within it – nor out of it again.

     What they wish to experience
     would destroy them if they did,
     the strangeness of hyperspace
     slowly boiling through their sensors
     to drive them mad as they observed
     the stars dissolving into chaos.

     What they fear most deeply
     is their sole salvation, for IT
     is not a monster but a benefactor:
     a wise old alien who carefully
     picks them up and deciphers their destinations
     and delivers them gently back into realspace.

     What they desire most dearly –
     to evade IT, to slay IT
     would only doom them to slow death
     in the emptiness of hyperspace,
     a pitted metal corpse to be discovered
     by the next alien courier to come that way:
     for IT  is not one creature, but many.

A starship’s mind is secreted deep in the braindrive,
behind a wall bricked with dread and mortared with horror,
not held high like the pilot-drive that finds the way and is easily reached –
and it is because of this
that the starships do not know
that so much of what they think  they know
is wrong.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
ellenmillion From: ellenmillion Date: June 23rd, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, haunting!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 23rd, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you like it.

This whole series has a haunting tone, because it's all about how wrong beliefs can screw everything up and make people miserable. All that hysterical reaction over things that just aren't so, but most of the characters refuse to let go of them. Very dark science fiction tangent with horror.
2 comments or Leave a comment