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This poem originally appeared in Pablo Lennis in 1996.


Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@indiana.edu.

All materials copyright 1996-1997 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

Searching for Byzantium

by Jerry H. Jenkins

    I

    I don't remember when or how I found
    a hint of that secluded wondrous place
    lost in stars, where mysteries abound,
    whose spires and peacock sunsets, gilt and grace
    and calm celestial music's soul-deep sound
    were said to be enfolded deep in space.
    I held its hologram in silicon;
    its image pulled me on and farther on.

    II

    I've drifted through dim star-trails, old, alone.
    The journey has been long and I would rest
    among a race more like me than my own,
    a race whose sun forever circles west,
    whose souls inhabit armatures of bone,
    whose lives with love, and even death, are blessed.
    And I would find their city and be done
    with emptiness between dark cindered suns.

    III

    Sustained by hope and hopes to be fulfilled,
    drawn to an end I thought would never come,
    I've wandered through dead universes stilled
    and empty, silent as a broken drum,
    and navigated shoals of starlight spilled
    in some unknown, unnamed millennium
    from galaxies whose light is now their past,
    and I have found that sacred place at last.

    IV

    Surrounded by a strange, familiar throng,
    I give myself with calm finality,
    and burn with warmth of love, serene and strong.
    I am the gathering host that welcomes me
    as I am ushered in with holy song
    to what has been, and is, and is to be,
    and merge with all my lives as I become
    the next one born to seek Byzantium.