Beginning with Babylon, Astronomy

The ancients tracked the planet-dance with math
and covered tablets thick with scrawls—this clay
preserved through ages demonstrates a path
of human knowledge rising to the day
when heaven is brought close, in stars’ array
of light and shadow, pattern: beauty known
and not for what it gives (a way to pray,
an edge in war or increase in what’s grown).

We judge the past from here, the crowning stone—
enlightenment! But wait. We must relearn
as infants (age to age, and each alone)
compassion, mercy, patience and concern;
for we can match the ancients in their greed,
in fear and violence, desire and need.

Inspired by this article, my ideas were less fuzzy and pretentious before I tried putting them into a Spenserian sonnet for the Yeah Write poetry slam.