Friday, August 10, 2007

Permanent Firmament?

If you’re outside of the city on a fresh and clear night,
The stars that light the firmament present a wondrous sight.
To sit and watch the movement of the mighty constellations
Must surely rank as one of the most engaging occupations.

Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Cassiopaeia,
Aquarius the Water Bearer, Ethelred the Queer,
Jonothan the Ambulance, Parsenon the Newt,
Not forgetting Ribbentrop, the Double-Breasted Suit.

But when I gaze upon the stars, I’m filled with fear and dread,
Those billion zillion tonnes of matter perched above my head.
I know that they are far away and doubtless will not fall –
What worries me is whether they are really there at all.

Without reverting too much to an astronomic lecture,
The stars and their existence is a point of mere conjecture.
The distances themselves might be the source of the confusion
Presenting us with what might be an optical illusion.

Save for the Sun, the nearest star lies four light-years away,
Within this myriad of light we call the Milky Way.
So when we gaze upon a star, what we in fact can see
Is how the bastard used to look, way back in history.

It really is quite spooky, looking back into the past,
Before the time of dinosaurs, before Elastoplast,
Before the birth of Marvin Gaye, before the earth had cooled,
Way back into history when only Chaos ruled.

The point that I am trying to make requires a stoic mind,
Providing, as it does, for the destruction of our kind.
And if you’ve given out a loan, or started on a course,
The implications of this thought will fill you with remorse.

Supposing that, three years ago, the universe collapsed,
But we will not find out until another year has lapsed.
The light from even the nearest star will take a year to reach us,
Before we get an inkling of the death of all God’s creatures.

So when I gaze upon the stars, it isn’t with humility,
Rather it is with a sense of our own fallibility,
The stars that I can gaze upon perhaps do not exist,
So I am going to spend this next year permanently pissed.

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