When I Heard the Learn’d Physicist

Last night late I looked at stars,
observed the light that traveled so far from long ago,
thought about how old, old that light can be
by the time it reaches us from stars so distant,
wondered if seeing them is indeed
the closest thing we have
to time travel.

I heard those words that had traveled
through time to my ears, and I thought


The closest things we have to time travel are abundant:

We read or hear words that were written or spoken before we see or hear them,
sing songs that were composed before we sing them,
look at photographs and movies of people, places, and things that were shot before we view them,
recall memories, the photographs and movies of our minds,
have dreams that play with time and space,
imagine ourselves to be here or there,
pictures of our futures, our keen desires fulfilled.

All these are actually examples of the closest thing we have to time travel.

My apologies if I seem full of myself
for saying things with no authority whatsoever,
but those ancient stars are not close,
not by a long shot.

Sometimes words
are like falling stars
that may have begun their downward arc
even before our ancestors began to learn about and from them.

I think,
we need
to focus
a little harder
to say something that works,
that’s accurate,
that’s true,
that’s poetry.

* * * * *

Today’s writing prompt is


Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece below as a comment. I would love to read it : )

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