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A Sunbeam Journey

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Below is the poem entitled A Sunbeam Journey which was written by poet James Tate. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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A Sunbeam Journey

How big is this great universe?
How far do the stars traverse?
Let us think in terms of sunbeams’
Travel-time on the photon streams.

Beams seen from Pluto at night
Take five-and-a-half-hours at the speed of light.
Just think of crossing the Milky Way
In a rate-per-second of one-eighty-six K,

Would take thousands of years to span
This misty nebulae admired by man.
But it’s a mere fraction of size,
Galaxies seen in distant skies.

From our perspective down here on earth
Of the universe and its unknown girth,
Infinitely larger than it appears—
To cross it would take millions of years!

How can we, God’s created, keep pace,
With the enormity of trackless space?
Overwhelmed by its massive magnitude,
We simply savor it with awe-filled gratitude.

Writers and poets take special delight
In capturing these dazzling scenes at night
Transfixed with keyboard, or hand-held pen,
Mesmerized by galactic adrenalin.


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  1. Date: 2/8/2011 3:36:00 PM
    Enjoyed reading your work..The magnitude of the world in which we live is not comperhensible with our little minds..I am glad that I chose this one to read this eve..Thanks for stopping by...I did raise the window just a few seconds to see how cold it was and it was cold...Sara

  1. Date: 1/21/2011 11:33:00 AM
    It's certainly a Sunbeam Journey I would love to go on. The more we travel into what humans call space and the universe, will we finally learn to appreciate what we are all about. Science, just another man made word, or is it? Nice written piece James....:)

  1. Date: 1/21/2011 5:59:00 AM
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful poetry with us James. I enjoyed reading it today. May you have a wonderful weekend and always find inspiration to continue your writing. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 1/20/2011 4:32:00 PM
    YOu are a good poet to realize how small we are in this great universe. And then write about it! Luv, Andrea

  1. Date: 1/20/2011 1:55:00 PM
    lovely, brought a smile to my face ( well half my face, the other half is frozen from dental work)

  1. Date: 1/20/2011 1:34:00 PM
    James, your poem reminds me that we are but specks in the universe. If a star goes nova out in space, it may take hundreds or millions of years before we even know it. I don't know how God keeps track of the enormity of our universe, but I do believe he does. James Fraser would like this poem -- he's into space writes. If you commented on one of his, perhaps he would read it. You could tell him I thought he would like it. He's an old friend. Awesome poem! Love, Carolyn