Black Petals Issue #90 Winter, 2020

The Great Universe
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
BP Artists and Illustrators
1957-Fiction by Michael J. Moore
Black Dog-Fiction by C. P. Webster
Curse of the Candles-Fiction by Jerry Payne
Death Rattle-Fiction by Jan Cronos
Estranged-Fiction by Alan Trezza
The Return of the Ferryman-Serialized Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Scarlet Bedroom-Fiction by Daniel K. Merwin
The Soul Destroyer-Fiction by James Flynn
The Packing Bay-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Jizo-A four-poem Japanes Theme Set by Dee Allen
Blood-Red Drops-Poem by Chris Collins
The Great Universe-Poem by Hicham El Qendouci
Female Mischief-Poem by Hillary Lyon
Worm-Poem by Hillary Lyon
The Lycanthrope's Lament-Poem by Hillary Lyon
The Sea-Poem by Jason Rice

The Great Universe


Hicham El Qendouci


I am but a small atom still remaining
From the beginning of the great blast
When creating the universe 
Fifteen billion years ago.
I am a nucleus that has survived
In the interstellar nebular cloud
And in the rocky magma
Dissolved in the ground. 
Born and poured into body and nerves,
Into consciousness and perception,
I am headed to the eternal unknown, 
Over green lawns, lightning flashes, 
Stormy winds, and the cries of birds.


Across a grain of sand from the oldest hourglass 
I walk slowly toward the horizon, 
Looking for the wonders of the universe: 
Black holes, red giants, and white dwarfs.
It is possible that if I missed the road
Somewhere in space
As one of the subatomic particles, 
A gift of smoke, where lust is nothing, 
I might not have seen
This very green world,
Or heard its voice call, 
Or caught the scent 
Of the strange mythical incense of the place.


What are planets and stars and galaxies
When compared to You, but 
Silent blocks, dead glowing gases,
Shouts without echo,
Infinity without end? 
I am worthless dust,
The poor defaulter
For flashing moments,
Who contemplates the great universe, 
Absorbs eternal music
And sings eternal songs.


I hunt among the particles of days, 
Jump into evening’s boat, 
And fill my hunting backpack
With the fragrance of violets,
With the green of marine algae,
And with glowing moonlight.
What a blessing of God
That human beings who live in this world 
Are part of galaxies that spin with majesty
In a sea that whispers intimate secrets 
About the universe’s infinite oval.


I know that life seems endless,
Whether here, around us, on Earth,
Or in the universe’s distant depths.
If it happens that on the final day, 
When our sun has exhausted its nuclear fuel
And becomes a star hanging silently in space
As a white dwarf, its center heavy elements 
Of particles converged until they cling, 
And Earth dies like the rest of the solar system, 
We will already have gone within ionic spaceships
To Earth’s twin in a distant galaxy, 
Where we can plant our seeds
And live together in harmony.


Hicham El Qendouci,, who wrote the BP #90’s poem, “The Great Universe,” and BP #88 (Editor’s Favorite) poem, “Love River Forever,” is a freelance writer, poet, and painter. He lives in Morocco and speaks six languages, including: Tamazight, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, and English, and holds a Baccalaureate Certificate in Literature and Human Sciences. In his free time he writes science fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, literary stories, plays, and poems; he likes reading same, and enjoys drawing and practicing sports.

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