Astronomical Limerick

This was my entry to our recent Poetry Competition. The theme was ‘Remote’ and I thought I’d do something on just how vast the universe is but in the form of a daft limerick. I expected to take about half an hour on it but the complexity of the subject plus the demands of the limerick form meant I spent AGES on it. I didn’t win, but it was more about the taking part and seeing if I could actually get it to work. If you want to read the winning & commended poems click here. Otherwise, read on…

There was a blue planet called Earth
And billions of years from its birth
Arrived some humans
Who wanted solutions
About why there was such a dearth,
Such an absence of alien species
Across the galaxy's far-flung reaches
But let's look at the facts:
Space is damn vast
So listen to what astronomy teaches:
The fastest thing possible is Light
And even then the distance is quite
Too far to go touring
To Alpha Centauri;
It's four years on just that one flight.
Four years to our neighbouring star.
You might think that that's very far
But on a galactic score
It's the gaff next door
That's how distant stars really are.
Now imagine an alien race
Light years away in deepest space;
The timescales and distance -
They need persistance
To travel to our backwater place.
And the timing needs lots of precision
As they finish their bold expedition
The universe is so old
We may not have evolved
Or we've gone extinct during their mission.
That's a hell of an effort to make
When the outcome is very opaque
Space-time's the crux -
Relativity sucks...
If they're here they've made a mistake. 

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