Photo-composition of the William Herschel Telescope's dome and the Polar StarTonight & every night, the hunt begins
through aging optics, light-eroded skies—
Whoever finds our next oasis wins.

In careful lockstep as this dirtball spins,
we check our calculations, strain our eyes.
Tonight & every night, the hunt begins

for quiet stars that wobble on their pins,
implying orbs of inconvenient size:
whoever finds our next oasis wins,

yet vast gas furnaces yield only grins
& dissertations. Endlessly revised,
tonight & every night the hunt begins,

growing more desperate as funding thins.
Were Cabot or Magellan so despised?
Whoever finds our next oasis wins

us all a little respite from these sins
our world groans under. We should sympathize
tonight, & every night the hunt begins.
Whoever finds our next oasis wins.

Copyright © 2008, Ann K. Schwader

Photo Courtesy of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma/Nik Szymanek and Ian King

Ann K. Schwader's new Lovecraftian/SF sonnet sequence, In the Yaddith Time, is now available from Mythos Books. Her poetry has appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated, Mythic Delirium, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Strange Horizons, Modern Haiku, The Formalist, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Westminster, CO. Visit her web site at: