Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Like Jewels on a String"

This poem is spillover from the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] redsixwing,[personal profile] janetmiles, LJ users Ng_moonmoth and Book_worm5. One of those prompts was for the song "Somebody Will" by Ada Palmer. This poem also fills the "WILD CARD: sense of wonder" square in my 8-31-15 card for the Tones Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It belongs to The Blueshift Troupers series.

Warning: Hankie alert! Songs about space exploration make me cry sometimes, and this is the kind that does that. So if you're the same way, then be prepared.


"Like Jewels on a Ring"


The future we have is a source of amazement
That snatches our breath away as we go on;
Just thinking about the things we have accomplished
Astonishes all of us standing hereon.

We've danced through the regolith silver as stardust
And tiptoed through craters the red of old blood;
We've woven soft garlands of whistling flowers
And watched pirate-pods sailing over the flood.

We've climbed frozen mountains to gaze up in wonder
At stations strung outward like beads on a string
Beyond which the Annula waits for the starships
That leap through the jumpgates like jewels on a ring.

The future we have is not what we imagined
When first we began dreaming of it, you know;
It's better and brighter and ... bigger in some ways
That ever our ancestors thought long ago.

In ancient times everyone stared at the oceans
And wondered what treasures lay on the far side;
Now we can take journeys through jumpgates in moments
Exploring the whole of the galaxy wide.

Once people looked up at the birds in the heavens
And wished they could have cars that flew high above;
Now we have our coracles clinging to hiveships
That carry us where we would go out of love.

The future we have is not what we imagined
When first we began dreaming of it, you know;
It's better and brighter and ... bigger in some ways
That ever our ancestors thought long ago.

Of course there are challenges; when is it easy
To grab Fate's great horns and swing over a star?
But that's why the troupers go out to save people
In trouble no matter how strange or how far.

We are the shapeshifters, the creatures of legend
Now walking among you all, sturdy and strong;
We help keep the planets safe, guiding their people
To find a good path through whatever's gone wrong.

The future we have is not what we imagined
When first we began dreaming of it, you know;
It's better and brighter and ... bigger in some ways
That ever our ancestors thought long ago.

We look back on histories thick with the struggles
That took ages pulling bootstraps out of dirt
And sometimes it seemed that their dreams would go nowhere
For ancestors marching on blisters that hurt.

We look, and remember the cost of their journey
That put us in reach of that first bottom rung
That gave us a ladder that stretched up to heaven --
And that is the quest of which ballads are sung.

Our ancestors fought -- and some died -- for this future,
And if I could speak to them, what would I say?
I'd tell them it's worth it, whatever the trouble:
A ring on the galaxy's finger, someday.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, reading, science fiction, space exploration, weblit, writing
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