On the Discovery of Planets Beyond Our Solar System, 1990's

by Tim Myers

Between the lines of terse newspaper accounts,
I hear these oceans so many light-years away,
see trees I wouldn't recognize as trees,
strain to glimpse across the gulfs
an animal moving through strange underbrush,
houses, music, those who sing whatever songs.

I can wring such marvels from dry astronomical reports,
stellar rotational blips, gas giants at seventy light-years --
it's easy! I'm human, a storytelling animal,
can sense beyond astronomers' careful numbers
fiction slowly giving way to fact.

Spirit, beat me numb with the great emptiness
and still I'll dream,
still the ghost-quasar of possibility
will electrify the star-fields
in my little head!

Copyright © 2004, Tim Myers

Tim Myers won a national poetry contest judged by John Updike, has published over 100 poems (Southern Humanities Review, MacGuffin, Green Fuse, ELF, national anthologies), and has a chapbook coming out from Pecan Grove Press. His children's book Basho and the Fox was read on NPR, made the New York Times bestseller list for children's books, and was honored by Smithsonian Magazine, The Children's Book Council, and Bank Street College. His children's book Tanuki's Gift was chosen as a "Best Book of the Year" by Bank Street College and Nick Jr. Magazine. He teaches at Santa Clara University in the Bay Area.

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