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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2136603
by Zen
Rated: E · Poetry · Nature · #2136603
A poem about the strangest map we know
Note: this poem was written to describe a star map, a rousing challenge I couldn't refuse.

A map, a map, to sail the seas,
To navigate the rivers,
Unchanging land, with ease.
To travel to the foreign,
To trade, or just to please.

It shows the way of going,
How to get there, safe and sound.
It highlights all the hazards;
A route for homeward bound.

This map is like no other,
Its construction rather tense.
It changes all the while,
And makes no plausible sense.

Proxima Centauri,
The closest star to us,
Lies four light-years distant,
The colour of ancient rust.

We see it as it was,
Four years ago and more.
Our map is out of date.
We’re barely beyond our door.

The further we travel outward,
The worse has this become.
Our map is ever staler,
It is a conundrum.

We don’t know what we look at,
We don’t know what we see.
That star might be there today,
Or it may have ceased to be.

There’s worse in store for galaxies,
Whose structures seem bold and clear.
The stars wheel round their centres,
Holding them tight and dear.

Yet spiral arms don’t waver,
Not barely by an inch.
The stars are merely passing through,
An illusion, extant in the pinch.

Beyond the limits of what we can see,
Is a vista, whose description is uncertain.
Further than the beginning of time,
Hidden behind a curtain.

Not fourteen billion years of age,
Yet a hundred billion in size.
In maps of old, it would have said,
Warning, dragons here arise!

With other maps, we must go there,
To savour the sights and sounds.
This map comes to us,
And Oh, how it confounds!

It’s not a map of places now,
Or a map of places past.
It’s a map of time, a clock to show,
A universe, old and vast.

With every tick it changes,
And everything must move.
We know not where things are today,
The physics hard to prove.

Yet in this anarchy there is order,
The stars, they have a voice.
They sing their songs as they dance around;
They live, and they rejoice.

The music of the spheres,
Is a wonder to behold.
They tell of wonders yet unseen,
And futures, bright and bold.

Imperfect map it may be,
Its challenge a clarion call,
Yet it has the beauty of a gem.
The greatest map of all.
© Copyright 2017 Zen (phil_ide at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2136603