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November 12, 2022



musings on a Saturday afternoon

somehow inspired by “Webcam the World” by Heather McHugh


“How fitting”

I think

“to write such a thing today”

namesake of so distant orb

my voice, could it fly

sent off, would after years


to be more-or-less exact)

light upon translucent sphere

whereon (or could that be in)

if dwell folk of unknown ilk

might hear but scattered bits

from one how long since dead


of me left to puzzle out

sense from static-filled sound

yet as I type I question Google

“How far Saturn, now?”

“How large the surface of a sphere?”

“What time light would take to fly

from me to some Saturnian eye?”

the answer to that last is faster

one hour, twenty minutes, some seconds

if were there and could but see

would gaze upon this mornings Pete

setting Christmas lights upon his eave

perhaps maybe seeing 1/1th

of me to puzzle out

sense from uncomprehendable act

would see my eave-strung lights


and wonder “Why?”

what madness this pale illumination

that paler still their understanding


were I to bold commit

this writ to Earth-bound friend

would follow ethereal path

to router thence to wire

around this planets surface

bouncing into the sky, and back

out to my comprehending kin

(I blush at such an optimism)

but scattered signals fainter glow

one hour, twenty minutes, some seconds

(as I enjoy my dinner perhaps)

would light upon those unexpected eyes

to incomprehensibility add symbol

multiple uncontexted datums


for all I think them lovely

and further out, broad eons hence

(mind quails before that distance)

even stranger eyes, could there be,

might see still fainter signals glow

themselves to ponder, if they could

of what mind such madness

what source these scattered bits

which stars themselves have signed

append to me such luminous glow

am by stellar embrace caressed

altered beyond understanding

even I could not determine

what I (now dust) had said

they could not know, though try

if not misconstrued as random

would never know

what sense these digits made

any less those digits sent

now forty-eight years gone by



A poem by Peter Rhebergen
Copyright 2023
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