Friday, October 14, 2011

TC: Little Bang


Big Bang: NASA animation conceptualizing the beginnings of the universe

The night was hot and heavy and a hazed arc
Flared from the dark rising lamp city
The way a star might ignite above the banks
Of some unlit river, wasting on objects
More revelation than they are worth
To those who dwell and toil amid the ruins

At the witching hour, now, there’s little bang
Left to shrink from, nothing much, just these same blank
Vistas, all lost, receding, much as the man
On the Jupiter mission got littler
And littler, so too we, older, grow closer
To other spheres than to that earth we recall

Mel 111, open cluster in Coma Berenices: astronomical simulation by Roberto Mura


Anonymous said...

We tend to forget that before the mighty universe around us, we cannot but simply observe. And your power of observation is shrewd, wise and musical.

TC said...


It will keep expanding infinitely, but we will be gone.

Or perhaps a better way of thinking about this: we will be gone, but it will keep expanding infinitely.

Somehow it all feels better that way.

Not that the great universe, in its superior wisdom, cares one bit how we feel about any of this.

But... here in my own tiny universe, I am always infinitely happy to hear from you.



ACravan said...

I was saving this one until tonight and I'm grateful that I did because it fit perfectly into my Sunday night remaining capacity to absorb, appreciate and understand. I think of the man on the Jupiter mission very often. He and his partner were both intensely hardworking, decent and dignified men. I'm unsure whether in the "backstory" assigned to him he would have read poetry (he might have; apart from being dignfied, he was professionally sober and discreet, so it's unlikely he would have spoken about it), but I think he would have appreciated:

"The way a star might ignite above the banks
Of some unlit river,"

This is a terrific coda to a very long day.


TC said...

As is your note to mine, Curtis. (And it hasn't even yet begun... and for that matter feels at the moment like it may never do so... but all the same.)

I think we're all on our own little Jupiter missions at least some if not much of the time; it's always an excellent consolation to be able to feel there's Intelligent Life out there somewhere, if only we can clear away the intergalactic cobwebs just slightly, and tune in to it.