In which Your Humble Blogger incorporates an appreciation for astronomy into a casual analysis of the mess on her desk:
"The Kuiper Belt"
The Kuiper belt is a band of particles
In between the farthest fading ripples
Of planetary trails. The Kuiper belt exists
In the dust-ringed stain and aggregate of crumbs
Beneath my coffee cup. An external observer,
Using signal dishes or cascades of glass lenses,
Would notice the Kuiper belt early among sights
From our slice of the galaxy. Who knows what
The external observer would discover on my desk.
But I stare at the round-moon puddle left by my mug:
Whose house are we in? Whose sens of order
Do we, although we're small flecks of matter, disturb?
And does our scattered, inevitable presence
Inspire them toward poetry, too?
* * *
Sad to say, I can't find the original news bite that inspired this one. What it said, though, was that some data suggests that an alien being looking in on our galaxy is likely to first be able to see the Kuiper belt, the ring of icy objects and particles that surrounds our solar system. I know something about particulate matter. At the moment, I'm sitting next to a bookshelf with a months-thick layer of dust that confirms how true that is.
Funny note: As I was typing up the introductory paragraph for this blog post, I was suddenly struck by a realization of how to turn the idea behind this poem into a short story. And to think that some days I wonder why I even bother posting!
Edit: After I typed this blog post last night, I tried working on that story idea. It's... something. I think I failed in my first attempt at the execution. But that's why we edit things, yet?