My spacecraft’s speed dial display’s auto-hovering, redlining near the velocity of light. I’m cheating time, slicing through space in a blur of stars, galaxies, planets; thumbing my nose at black holes; dodging asteroids; warping; folding; wormholing—whatever tickles Hal 2 (my sentient computer has a strange sense of humour, not altogether displeasing).

This is not all fun you know! I’m ageing Einsteinian slow, and you need shuttle-loads of exercise regimes, hobbies, meditation periods, reading and self-teaching (crosswords and sudoku are just never enough). Maybe I should write that novel I’ve always dreamed about . . .

is difficult to find
in a vacuum

But seriously, I want to see what happens on my return, twenty years hence, when—if Hal 2 has worked it right, and she’s very boastful but excellent company—my younger brother will be my elder brother while I shall remain (relatively speaking) wrinkle-free. So, in the interim, I’ll be dodging all that BS at home: arguments on climate change, dollars, jobs, fossil fuels, trash, rising oceans, melting ice, species extinction, atmospheric degeneration.

many wearing blindfolds
circle the fire

There’s a universe of space and time for me to ponder on what it will be like when Hal 2 and I touch down back home. Shall I still need my spacesuit on a Terra not so Firma with blue skies nowhere to be found? Or will it be hallelujah, wisdom and foresight all around? Well, if worst comes to worst, Hal 2 and I will journey on through the cosmos; yup, just the two of us. But I’ll miss the beautiful planet.

blue jewel globe
sparkling nervously
in uncertain light

Tony Steven Williams


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