Poem: One Final Spectacle
"And when the energy source runs out, the sun will shed its outer gaseous
layers into the solar system, and it may end up looking something like this"
- Lucie Green, Astrophysicist
Two Cultures 14/9/16, Something as Simple as a Star
Slowly like balloon then rocket, the light
might float out of itself, fire upwards when it
escapes its mooring, when there is no more up
and down. And all those neutrons suddenly
unbound of the core – florescent nebulae,
petri dish sky – will multiply, grow out: suns
of suns of suns; a colony of glow worms,
alien ant farm; a summer bookshop dripping
its spines and letters into darkness. Star matter,
eager as Mr Peanutbutter to grasp the universe
around it, it’ll take on another voice, prosthetics,
but we'll surely recognise its deathly silhouette,
its burnt out heft coming our way: a plot hole,
an artist's impression of coloured wavelength,
a Cosmic Circus Test-Your-Strength, the guacamole
at a NASA garden party. The spectacle will be
named, monikered – Celia Cluster, Goloschkinian
Space Snow – illuminate all the women
and men who have truly known it, spent time
in its company. Swelling to burst it'll dig out
its emergency box, send out flare after flare
as beacons till they hit homes, skylights,
cupboards under stairs, spirograph kits
in dusty games boxes; render pylons toothpicks,
factories wax. This hot old thing will then take
centre-stage after billions in the wings – diligently
stick around for Q&As – as life as we know it
is swallowed whole, as Earth is deorbited
and spun into the stunning redness
of a film scene, of a darkroom.
Eat your heart out, Christopher Nolan.
Eat your heart out, solar system.
Eat your heart out.