Leaving the glare of city lights,
We drove on dusty mountain roads
Into valleys, over passes,
Up and down, winding and climbing,
Far above, then past the river
That carved this part of the world.

We sat on the peak at roads end,
Speechless, as the fiery sun set.
Feeling the cool mountain breezes
Penetrate our warm summer selves,
We quickly prepared for a show
Never seen on theater screen,
Or carried on fiber optics
To the warm living rooms below.

Perched on the left foot, then the right,
We began dervishly dancing,
Slowly panning the starlit sky
In nervous anticipation
Of Perseid and his shower.
First one, then two, seconds apart
From every compass direction
Trailing bright and dim, short and long,
Across and down the Milky Way.

We soon whirled faster and faster
In an attempt to miss nothing,
Then ultimately closed our eyes
In overwhelming exhaustion;
Yet even when our eyes were closed
The constant light streaks continued
Into the depths of deepest sleep.

In the beginning time and space
Exploded with tremendous force
From a microscopic dot
To our expanding universe.
Today it expands more slowly
Searching for its ultimate size,
And will one day begin to shrink,
Folding again into itself;
Into that tiny, timeless dot.

Awakened by an eastern glow,
I silently ask in wonder:
Who will attend the funeral
Of the universe when it dies?
The forgotten moon is rising,
Soon to be followed by the sun;
Yet no answer is forthcoming
From the quiet, brightening sky.