ysabetwordsmith: Jump gate showing diamond ring of light (blueshift)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] redsixwing,[personal profile] janetmiles, LJ users Ng_moonmoth and Book_worm5. One of those prompts was for the song "Somebody Will" by Ada Palmer. This poem also fills the "WILD CARD: sense of wonder" square in my 8-31-15 card for the Tones Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It belongs to The Blueshift Troupers series.

Warning: Hankie alert! Songs about space exploration make me cry sometimes, and this is the kind that does that. So if you're the same way, then be prepared.


"Like Jewels on a Ring"


The future we have is a source of amazement
That snatches our breath away as we go on;
Just thinking about the things we have accomplished
Astonishes all of us standing hereon.

We've danced through the regolith silver as stardust
And tiptoed through craters the red of old blood;
We've woven soft garlands of whistling flowers
And watched pirate-pods sailing over the flood.

We've climbed frozen mountains to gaze up in wonder
At stations strung outward like beads on a string
Beyond which the Annula waits for the starships
That leap through the jumpgates like jewels on a ring.

The future we have is not what we imagined
When first we began dreaming of it, you know;
It's better and brighter and ... bigger in some ways
That ever our ancestors thought long ago.

In ancient times everyone stared at the oceans
And wondered what treasures lay on the far side;
Now we can take journeys through jumpgates in moments
Exploring the whole of the galaxy wide.

Once people looked up at the birds in the heavens
And wished they could have cars that flew high above;
Now we have our coracles clinging to hiveships
That carry us where we would go out of love.

The future we have is not what we imagined
When first we began dreaming of it, you know;
It's better and brighter and ... bigger in some ways
That ever our ancestors thought long ago.

Of course there are challenges; when is it easy
To grab Fate's great horns and swing over a star?
But that's why the troupers go out to save people
In trouble no matter how strange or how far.

We are the shapeshifters, the creatures of legend
Now walking among you all, sturdy and strong;
We help keep the planets safe, guiding their people
To find a good path through whatever's gone wrong.

The future we have is not what we imagined
When first we began dreaming of it, you know;
It's better and brighter and ... bigger in some ways
That ever our ancestors thought long ago.

We look back on histories thick with the struggles
That took ages pulling bootstraps out of dirt
And sometimes it seemed that their dreams would go nowhere
For ancestors marching on blisters that hurt.

We look, and remember the cost of their journey
That put us in reach of that first bottom rung
That gave us a ladder that stretched up to heaven --
And that is the quest of which ballads are sung.

Our ancestors fought -- and some died -- for this future,
And if I could speak to them, what would I say?
I'd tell them it's worth it, whatever the trouble:
A ring on the galaxy's finger, someday.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-20 07:32 am (UTC)
heartsinger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heartsinger
Wow. It isn't easy to make me cry, because I was taught that it was bad and rude and wrong and demanding, and so I figured there was no way this would make me cry. And I was wrong. Well done. You join a very small group. I think it's just you, JK Rowling, and ink-splotch.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-20 03:24 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: (smith-lightsails)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Nice.

Title of poem differs from subject line of post -- the latter has "string" and probably isn't what you meant.

No, it didn't make me cry ("Somebody Will" did) but came close.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-20 07:06 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Once I dreamed of going to space. Nothing fancy;
I just wanted to hit orbit, break free of
atmosphere if not gravity. It didn't
have to be very far into space.
Just space.

Now I dream of tiny things.
A safe place to live, where I know
I'll still be allowed to live here
next month, where I can speak my thoughts,
eat the foods I want to, where I
don't have to hide who I am & what I do
for fear of attack.

Of enough food, tasty food, filling food,
food that is what I want to eat,
food that I don't have to hide,
food that won't mysteriously disappear
when I'm not looking. Food I can eat
in the open, without judgement, without
censure, without being told I am bad & wrong
for eating it.

Space? Ha. Space isn't a dream of flight,
not for me, not any more.
It's a dream of a room, one that's mine,
with a door, one that closes & locks.
A space of my own.
Such a tiny thing.

( o.0 I accidentally poem? I may possibly have Opinions about some things. )

Wow!

Date: 2015-12-22 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You are not the only one to have such an Opinion on things. I absolutely understand this. The only thing I'd say is about the last line, that "such a tiny thing" is NOT tiny at all. It means the world. Very Virginia Woolf. Keep on accidentally poeming!

Re: Wow!

Date: 2015-12-25 04:16 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Yeah it...it seems to be going around. Which kind of sucks.

The last line, when said in my head, in an incredibly bitter thing, but I don't know how to make that words.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-21 03:48 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
<3

Still that little hitch in the rhythm in the chorus is the thing that makes me go back and reread the verse. I'll keep on returning to this one.

Thank you.

It has rhyme. It has meter.

Date: 2016-01-28 02:51 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
It should have music.

Re: It has rhyme. It has meter.

Date: 2017-01-07 07:42 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
Now it does. Written and performed by someone I know in a concert set. More details at the post.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-19 10:13 pm (UTC)
callibr8: East Tennessee, circa 2004 (RoadAhead)
From: [personal profile] callibr8
Liiiiiiike!

I shared mdlbear's confusion re which is title, String or Ring. They evoke different images for me. Given that the last line of the song uses the word 'Ring', I'm going with that for now.

I don't know the Ada Palmer song, but there are two songs in our (Echo's Children) repertoire whose choruses seem especially fitting: Songs of Human Crafting, and Columbia, and several others (Outward Bound, My Planet's Child, Via Astra) which are also germane.

Reading the lyrics more closely reminded me of one more song, that isn't ours: "The Light Ships", sung by Leslie Fish. While I have't yet found an online link to that song's lyrics, I did find an entire page of space songs. Probably merits its own post, in my copious spare time. *wry*

(no subject)

Date: 2017-01-14 06:13 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*Crying* Yes, this works, yes, yes, I will try, yes.

Re: Aww ...

Date: 2017-01-14 06:40 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*sniffles and smiles*

... Can you tell I tend to reread your shorter series entire when you post a new poem?

Re: Aww ...

Date: 2017-01-14 06:35 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
:D

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