Globular Cluster NGC 6397flashing in a summer field against twilight sky-
dark.  Drifting shifting sparkle flashes, ever-
changing patterns of writing in some
unknowable language of streaks and flashes,
constellations blinking on and off.  Fireflies dance
below us, fireflies behind us, fireflies above us;
their silent mating calls a symphony of light.  A
million flashes a minute, we are immersed in a
sea of flickering light.

Just so, the immortals look out across the
universe, as stars and galaxies
            flick into life
            fade into dark.

First published in Asimov's Science Fiction
Copyright © 2008, Geoffrey A. Landis

Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist at the NASA John Glenn Research Center as well as a writer and a poet. His poems have appeared in magazines ranging from Asimov's Science Fiction to Coventry Reader, and his first collection of poetry, Iron Angels, appeared from Van Zeno this year. (Information can be found at .) He is also the author of the novel Mars Crossing and a collection of short stories, Impact Parameter. In 2009, he won his second Rhysling Award for best science-fiction poem, for the poem "Search." He's married to the poet Mary A. Turzillo, and has a web page at