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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Riding the Startides"
This poem comes from the May 5, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from mtrose2 and marina_bonomi, and sponsored by janetmiles.

Riding the Startides

What do you do
when you have sailed
between the stars for so long
that even the light seems tired?

What do you do
when every alien world
is the same in your eyes,
and neither double suns
nor triple moons
are amazing anymore?

What do you do
when you’ve forgotten
how to be excited
by traveling faster than light,
so that even the impossible
has become ordinary,
has become boring?

Then you turn around
and head for home
where you find
that time’s river
has changed the shifting sands
and all things old
are new again –

for home has gone on without you
and remade itself,
full of fresh discoveries
like a broad beach
after the morning tide has gone out.

Go home,
old star-sailor,
and rinse away your memories
with the shallow seas of Terra;
in the place that gave you birth
you will be reborn.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
jolantru From: jolantru Date: May 8th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I like this. I have been reading Startide Rising by David Brin!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 8th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad this poem worked for you.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 16th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, when the entire universe is one day explored to such an extent that there's nothing new anymore, there's always alternate universes and other dimensions of existence to explore.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 16th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Good idea!

I like that solution.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 16th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I believe my first published novel either outright says or alludes to the entire universe being explored before they finally find Traipah tucked away, hidden by a nebula and some other stuff, in one of the local galaxies (M33). But over the years I've come to realize that having that happen by the 32nd or 33rd century is not very likely. When I first started that book, I thought the universe was only a few hundred galaxies large. Later on I found out - too late for that book - that there are millions of galaxies. Even with FTL that can turn a journey of light-centuries into a trip of several hours, it seems unlikely now. So maybe in a million years or more.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 16th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)


I see the dilemma. The universe is very large. Maybe they "explored" with other things besides actual ships, though?
fayanora From: fayanora Date: May 16th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm...

Well, plus there are the Na'Voom Da and the Vorsht cultures, who are each millions of years old. And the Na'Voom Da gave rise to a race of sentient machines that are also at least a million years old. *They* could have explored the whole known universe...
7 comments or Leave a comment