Interstellar Flower Delivery Mission 1 Brief

It was the first real summer after two long held breaths in. I’d just finished a recovery stint from my groundhog days in tech, once mesmerized by all the possibility and promise, now no longer satisfied with endless pursuits and made-up needs. More and more? What for?

In search of something—maybe the truth—out there, I gravitated towards poetry, a form of writing I’d long written off for being too sentimental and abstract for me. But what are poems but groups of words? What are we but groups of atoms named bodies powered by cellular machines—more atoms—we call brains?

Well, I did say I was going to try new things. I needed something different. I travelled across the world to visit stones planted in the ground, smelled sacred air. I visited little libraries, read about lost cities, said many yeses, indulged my nose and remembered what real is. I signed myself up to be in the company of fellow writers, some academics, some professional poets, most just like me trying to write ourselves into being to say things through poems we don’t know how to say any other way. I read and wrote, but I was too scared to share. So I listened in silence while everyone else spoke their truths tentatively, then loudly, proudly. I sent them hearts and applause through Zoom: just signals across time and space, made up of atoms too.

At home, me with my phone, I could see the entire world. But I missed lakes and paper and imagination. When first snow fell both winters it reminded me of all the hazy achey freeze-dried memories shimmering in my rear window, and when I walked by the neighbourhood pool every week, glass full of fresh smiles and tired skin, it reminded me of chlorine summers when everything was still and easy. I found myself caught in a web(b) like so many others looking for something too. We were stopped by what the James Webb Telescope sent back down to earth, from our furthest look billions of years into the past to glimpses of our future. I saw my stories intertwined with stories about stars. My rabbit holes went from true crime mysteries and murders and the infinite mayhem of forgotten clickbait to NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day Archives, a treasure trove of magic disguised as science. I was humbled, astounded, terrified, placated, disconcerted, amazed—all these things but most of all alive. I started LOLing, a quiet chuckle, at how precious I thought my failures were when I’m just a dot on a pale blue dot in a universe so much greater than me. (Maybe another dot, too?)

I marvelled at my uncommon senses, that rearranged atoms (more dots) made the funny, unreliable, precious thing called my memory.

At the end of summer, I had a small collection of poems separate yet connected to tell a greater story, a constellation arranged by me. I called them “Interstellar Flower Delivery”, an ode to science disguised as art—or is it the other way around? A message. An escape. A declaration. A call to wonder. Sentiment “bottled” and shared before memory, like everything, wilts into stardust.

As the sun wanes and days grow shorter to settle into dark mode, I send this pack of poems out into the universe for dots to connect in new hands and noses where they, you, may find that horizons once beyond are now below us—and around, and everywhere.

I said this to myself, now I say it to you: Look up, buttercup. Be still and silent no more.

Interstellar Flower Delivery is a poetry chapbook by Ana Wang available from October 12, 2022 at

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