Some from the Outposts have crossed paths
with transmissions from the Original World, several Jumps away.
Voices and pictures, drama and would-be fact,
trace actions long irrevocable, inevitable as the light
from the spangled Road of Stars that left its sources
long before we were thought of, we or our species.
Yet ancient voices in dead languages still stir our feeling, might still
spur us to act. Avoid, at least, the path they took,
into vainglory and mutual annihilation.
Some have caught the signals
from Lost Colonies, where the same dramas play out.
That archaeological record travels outward
at the speed of light, in a wavefront
that left long ago the dead who set it going.
Let this be our boneyard sermon then: look upon your own face,
mortal, and see the face of war. See the face of the enemy. Whom
you choose as your foe is a mirror of what you fear in yourself.
E.P. Beaumont writes poems, novels, and stories that explore the turbulent boundary between the fantastic, historical, and futuristic. An active member of online and local writing communities, Beaumont co-founded Big World Writing Club in summer 2011 and has served as a National Novel Writing Month Municipal Liaison since 2014. Published prose includes the science-fiction collection Tales from the Inhabited Worlds as well as other stories. Follow on Twitter at @epbeaumont or epbeaumont.com.