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The Great Silence (Sonnet for SETI)

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The Great Silence (Sonnet for SETI)

The sounds of silence singing in our ears:
we hear just static hiss from stars and dust,
the maser noise from stellar atmospheres.

What if we are alone, and no one’s there?
And life a fluke? A planetary crust,
chemicals complex as snowflakes, but still just
odd oxidation: we’re a form of rust.

In a universe of strange, unlikely things–
pulsating stars, rainbows, planets with rings–
how could we be unlikeliest of all?
If life comes up by chance, however small
then elsewhere must be others. Do they call?
There must be others out there. So we trust.

— Our radios hear just noise from stars and dust.