On attending a lecture by a Nobel astrophysicist, Pt. 1
The universe has no beginning nor end,
expanding and unbounded in undefined space
and time. Every event is an act on a stage,
a plot that continually evolves.
Our paths cross like two distant stars –
each a separate solar system –
but from afar, from Earth, perhaps,
we appear joined, fused, as one.
And sailors use our apparent light
to steer their ships by through the darkened night,
and stargazers reckon the passage of time
by the single light they think that we emit.
Yet all their precise calculations miss
the mark, based on a truth that is false.
On attending a lecture by a Nobel astrophysicist, Pt. 2
In one year, or in a thousand years
our galaxies resume their chosen paths,
and from afar, from Earth perhaps, the truth
will be revealed: we are not one star – but two,
or many, diverse, distinct, passing through
space like ships in the night. And sailors still
reach their destinations, despite the inexactitude,
still sleep in loving arms’ embrace the long night
through. So what’s the moral of this story,
what’s the sonnet’s point? We seek defined lives
in indefinite space. We try to reconcile
our every act, our every word, each thought,
but ere the end all bets are off,
and all is naught but drifting stardust…
On attending a lecture by a Nobel astrophysicist, Pt. 3
At our center
is a dying star –
an empty space –
a black hole –
It once emitted light
to all inside its orbit,
but now it only absorbs,
and robs, and depletes.
And yet it still
has force and grace
to bend us at its will
and hold us all – together.