Before the Big Bang: News from the Hubble Large Telescope

Jonathan Vos Post


The Astronomer was red-eyed, pale,
his face was gray with stubble;
he was 13 on a sliding scale
of 1 to 10 in trouble.

"Is Physics just a fairy tale?"
he asked, and then began to wail,
"WHY DID we seek the holy grail?
Why DID we launch the Hubble?

The launch was good (relax, exhale),
the data systems did not fail,
we peered beyond the cosmic veil,
the anti-cosmic double

to back before the quarks prevail.
We digitized each dark detail
but it was all to no avail,
it burst our pretty bubble."

"WHAT did you see," I asked, "Before
Beginning's Big Bang lights?"
(I reviews and interviews. I edits and I writes.)

"Before the start of Time, before the Universe's Birth,
What DID the Hubble show, ten billion years before the Earth?"

He told me. Now I writes no more.
I drinks a bit. I edits.
"Right before the Beginning," he said,
"is when THEY roll the credits!"

Publication history:
Star*Line [Nov 1986];
Analog [Jan 1987]
Winner (tied for 1st Place): 1987 Rhysling Award for Best Short Science Fiction Poem;
Rhysling Anthology 1987, ed. Anon., SF Poetry Assc. [1987]
Nebula Awards 23, ed. Michael Bishop, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich [1989]

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