Telescope, Clouds, Jupiter, and Milky WayBeyond Virgo, darkness—
swirling, spiral darkness—
poses disciplinary questions.
Where the Milky Way glows,
there there is darkness.
Where the galactic core crackles
there dark dust softly shuffles.
Where we've coalesced into life
there soup's still dark and cold.
In darkness, ever, ever, ever
swirl fundamental questions,
disciplinary questions that interrogate
culture, fortune, gods, and science.
That swirling spiral darkness
asks: Is there history
without stars? Mark we zodiacs
without stars? Are there gods
without stars? And is there
astronomy, that wondering
at the night…without stars?

Copyright © 2007, Greg Beatty

Image Credit: Eric Gorski, some rights reserved

Greg Beatty is recently married. He and his wife live in Bellingham Washington. Greg has a BA from University of Washington and a PhD from the University of Iowa, both in English, and attended Clarion West 2000. Greg's work has appeared in 3SF, Absolute Magnitude, Abyss & Apex, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Asimov's, Fortean Bureau, HP Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror, the Internet Review of Science Fiction, Ideomancer, Oceans of the Mind, Paradox, SCI FICTION, Shadowed Realms, Strange Horizons, Star*Line, and The New York Review of Science Fiction, among other venues. Greg won the Rhysling Award in 2005 (short poem category).