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Foggily out of cryostasis, I come ...
A slow, painful waking to a vessel that's shaking
from the stress of its increasing mass,
And at once I'm made sure that it's all premature,
for I should yet be sleeping, and fast.
Why I'm not still deep in my long cryo-sleep,
is a troubling notion, indeed,
For it's a century's span to the world where we plan
to propagate our human seed.
The cryo's defect is a slow reconnect,
with my senses still frozen and bare,
Yet I'll need all devices to discover the crisis,
and keep safe the lives in my care.
I fight what's still left of the cryopod's deft
reduction of all that I'm feeling,
Grab food from the fridge, stumble off to the bridge,
the emergency sirens still pealing.
I at once raise the shield from the ship's forward field,
and I stare straight ahead at what's wrong,
A bright purple spark in a nebula, dark,
that is almost a full parsec long!
The shapes and the colors remind me of Mueller's
"Two Girls" and his fine Gypsy lasses,
Lush watercolor hues of soft greens and blues,
all the products of eddying gases.
It is beautiful, yes, but I do not need guess
what the center is, blackened as coal,
What no light can pass through - SINGULARITY, true,
and one that could swallow us whole.
Too fast is our rate, we can NOT navigate
'round the nebulous dark that's our curse,
And our increasing mass is now too much to pass
by a course we might safely traverse.
I consider, a piece, we might try to increase
the reaction at the core of our drive,
But with more anti-matter, we are apt to just splatter
in a vortex we will not survive.
If we had greater distance, or added resistance,
we might slow and alter our course,
But we're much too near to the black hole to veer,
and being pulled in by its force.
The process, one-sided, baryogenesis, provided,
makes our now futile spot very dire,
And without the ship slowing, we are quickly now going
from the frying pan into the fire.
We must not stay pointed on this bearing anointed,
or we'll soon meet our end there in space,
Yet we can not slow down, or change course to go 'round
the black hole that now stares in our face.
Big on heroes, I'm not, but we DO have a shot,
though a slim one, I have to admit,
I would use, (beg the term), a thing called a "worm"-
hole, if our increased mass will permit.
I pour three libations and jot calculations
required for bending the void,
Then toss back each one, toasting daughters and son,
and the ship that I'll apt leave destroyed.
I bless the crew's slumbers and input the numbers,
hesitating at "Enter" a smidge,
And breathing a sigh, (whilst I cover one eye),
I launch the command from the bridge ...
Well ... what happens next has left me perplexed,
as I'm not on the ship, nor with crew,
But it must've gone well, cuz I'm still here to tell
YOU the story ... now isn't that true?
I'm not on the lam, but just where I AM,
is the puzzle I'm working on now,
For without ship and crew there's not much I can do,
but try to get homeward, somehow.
Deep space, can I span it from here on this planet?
(Though it seems to be one I can roam) ...
Ah yes, now, if only I weren't so damn lonely,
for the blue marble that I call ...
~ 3rd Place ~ in the "Jump" Poetry Contest, Sheri Fresonke Harper, Judge & Sponsor.
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2020