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A Handful of Stars

by Plus-One

A Handful of Stars

A procession of lights rise from the horizon,
A train of carefully spaced stars floating eerily upwards into the night sky.
One by one they follow like lemmings to the apex,
And as they reach it fade away as if there was never anything there to see.

People watch in wonder, they say.
I watch with an uncontrollable dread bubbling in my stomach,
Boiling up into my chest as if I were about to unleash a scream that would silence a thousand Earths.
But no sound comes from my open mouth.
My jaw is dropped with horror and my heart races,
But my diaphragm can push nothing but air through my tight throat as I watch in resignation.

I used to look to the sky for comfort.
The distant stars were my closest friends.
I'd dream of the magic that lay out there amongst them,
The worlds unseen, the places no human could ever corrupt.
We all had to bow to the stars.
Those untamable jewels that would always lay beyond our reach.
They'd twinkle coquettishly in the clear winter's sky, as my gasps of admiration threw mist over the frosty night.
"You can look, but you can't touch." They'd giggle playfully.
I knew then and there how small and powerless I was.
But it never scared me.

I was safe in the knowledge that as all before us lived and passed,
So would we, as the stars gazed on us from afar,
So constant, and safe.
So sure of their longevity.

There are so few of my friends anymore.

As I look to the sky I strain to see the faint flickers of those that once teased.
Sometimes I even think I can trace the outlines of the missing,
Dim glows on an increasingly grey canvas.
But in truth, I can never be sure if they are really there,
Or perhaps some trick of my mind, or some grit in my eyes fooling me into believing they remain.

The cold white light of a million diodes fills the night now.
Each one harsh and blinding, growing and glowing brighter each night.
I've watched for years as their halo slowly crept up from the horizon,
But I told myself it was okay.
I told myself it would creep no further.
The denial grew year on year,
Until in a single blink, only a handful of those I held dear remained.
And even they have lost their sparkle.

Perhaps they have given up on us,
Abandoning the posts they so vigilantly held for millions of years before.
They watched us grow with fascination,
But now they are too repulsed to shine,
Not even for old friends.

The final lights of the procession march regimented to their prescribed position,
And the news hails another glorious progression of human ambition.

"These satellites will bring us together!" They shout.
"These constellations will connect us all!
We'll collaborate, we'll play,
We'll celebrate all as one,
No longer will the night hold us apart!"
And yet, never have I felt more alone than today.

"We will continue our march,
For you! For them! For everyone!" They profess.
But they never ask what it is we wanted.
"We will surge forward into a new age of humanity!"
But I stand frozen like a statue, feet stuck quick on the muddy path.

How can I move forward if I know the path leads to only pain and sorrow?
Why must I stand still when all I want is to step back?
Once again I feel small and powerless,
But there is no comfort to be found in the sky anymore.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to see my friends again.
Perhaps on some distant shore when im old and wizened,
But if I do, will they still shine on me with that same fondness I yearn to feel?
For now, I have only the memories for my solace.
I look to the skies and dream of a distant past.

Is this a review?



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Points: 38
Reviews: 4

Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:33 pm
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aSillyNeurodivergent wrote a review...

Hi :) Im just here to do a review

This poem explores the themes of time and space, as well as the connections between the past, present, and future. The speaker contemplates the vastness of the universe and the mysteries it holds, as it leaves the reader with a sense of wonder and curiosity about what the future holds.

Overall, "A Handful of Stars" is a powerful and thought-provoking poem that explores the mysteries of the universe and the connections between time and space.

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100 Reviews

Points: 4776
Reviews: 100

Wed Nov 29, 2023 5:59 am
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dragonight9 wrote a review...

I really like this poem. I was able to feel the sadness and loss expressed by the disappearing natural beauty of the stars. The conception of the stars as old friends was really well utilized throughout. Great job getting your emotions across.

I also liked the message about how the advance of humanity isn't good for everyone. There is a price for innovation and convenience.

The only critique I could find was the line "People watch in wonder, they say."
I was a bit confused by whether you were describing what the people were doing or if is was a general sense or knowledge of the character from whose thoughts we hear.

I wish I could give more advice but there was nothing else I could find that could be improved. Great job!

Plus-One says...

Aww thank you!

The line you're highlighting is taken from a headline "People watch in wonder as...", So it's sort of a conflict between what's being said and what the character thinks. I'm not sure if that makes it read more clearly though?

dragonight9 says...

I understand now that you've explained it but I wouldn't have just reading through the poem.

We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind