9:1: “Voyager 2, Upon Arrival”, by Chris Flowers

9:1: “Voyager 2, Upon Arrival”, by Chris Flowers
  “We are attempting to survive our time so we may live   into yours.”
  —U.S. President Jimmy Carter (part of a message   included with both Voyager spacecrafts)

  In forty thousand years, you will encounter
  a star in the Andromeda constellation.
  Gray planet—you slice meager atmosphere,
  wound sewn with fiery stitches in your wake.

Currency is invented; research is funded.
Classes and texts become mandatory.
After years of cool, measured computations
your hieroglyphic sentiment is deciphered.

They meditate on your words,
now framed in an exotic ore
(similar in hue to alabaster),
copies hanging in the most venerable halls.

Debates are held.
Empires, based on your script, rise
like long submerged pylons and topple
in the pounding wake of revolution.

After untold generations,
the meaning of your text—
now etched in the forehead at birth—
suddenly leaps from the furrowed brows

bobbing in pale blue starlight.
At that moment, they stumble among wisps
of methane pluming opal eyes
in low gravity, incandescent.

Survive clicking on forked tongues.

Chris Flowers teaches composition at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. His poetry has recently appeared in Convergence and Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression. He says:

After learning about the Golden Records that were developed by Carl Sagan and his colleagues for the Voyager spacecraft in the late 1970s, I became fascinated with the idea that a “message in a bottle” from humanity, had, in fact, entered interstellar space. I also found it virtually impossible not to consider the consequences of such an endeavor.



One Response to “9:1: “Voyager 2, Upon Arrival”, by Chris Flowers”

  1. matt says:

    that was fantastic.

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