The following poem won first place in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s annual poetry contest in 2011. I watched Carl Sagan’s Cosmos when I was a kid; his theories and wonder, so beautifully depicted in that series, influenced my view of the world and the Universe, encouraged me to think and to wonder. This poem is dedicated to Mr. Sagan. Humanity lost a great thinker, a great human, when he died. May his insights and dreams live on. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I encourage you to watch an episode of his t.v. series, or read from any of his lectures and his novels.


These are not my bones.
They thrum upon muscle and sinew—
the refrain of death and rebirth
to the tune of growth and pain
and wonder.
There is time in these bones,
they remember when I was not yet

This is not my blood.
Once it flowed through mountains
fed by winter’s thaw,
in turn fed springs
and drop by drop
wore granite rock
into dust.

These are not my hands.
At night they whisper my dreams full
of memories—
digging through dark earth for golden roots,
striking rock and feeding fire,
pointing at the moon.

This is not my home.
My every cell yearns toward light, and at sunrise
cries out
until I am deafened into remembrance—
I was born in the sky
in the hearts of stars.