A blazing sickle of the sun
cut a toothless smile
unseen by rushing city men
caught up in the Mile.
Thick cloud across
the southern skies
obscured the time majestic
when darkness peaked –
a normal day of business.
This poem was inspired by the solar eclipse mania of last week Friday. I was so excited about the event, but it hardly filtered through the clouds that covered London that morning. The only indicator was eeriness and discord as the birds registered the unusual event. All the busy city folk continued with their commutes to work. I, like others, was at my desk.
The day’s later blue skies allayed my disappointment. The day moved on.
On the commute home, I was reading the follow-up articles in the Evening Standard when some ideas for a poem started to form. So, here it is – a little after the event, and with some touches of artistic license (the peak time of the eclipse, for example).
What was your experience of ‘the smile in the sky’? Did you take any photo’s?
I have written some other poems that feature the sun, stars and moon:
On the declaration of the first day of the Year of Our Light
Another Summer’s Day
Philip’s Log: Entries about my moonlit sylph
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012
I suspect that “Screens” is one of those atmospheric poems that evokes interesting images, but by the end of it the reader isn’t quite sure what it was all about.
Here’s how I see it:
The poem sets forward how our days are filled with noise and rushing. Simultaneously we seek escape in parallel realms and our imagination. We seek retreat in our dark and quite moments, in artists’ creations or in times past. In these kingdoms exist magical creatures (green-scaled dragons), conduits to the other side (golden bridges) and crafted beauty (tilted bonsai trunks).
There is a screen that separates these realms. Once one transcends it, one may see the province of imagination – “the far off poem”. The viewing platform, which in sensible understanding should be a stable structure, should ideally be positioned on the super moon. Not only are these lunar occurrences rare, but it is also difficult for most of us ordinary earth dwellers to make our way to the moon.
Screens is a poem about seeking poetry beyond the daily. At the same time, it is a poem about daily things: screens, commuting, traffic, viewing platforms and super moons.
Screens was one of the 104 poems I wrote over a year for my 2×52 project. These poems are collected in the book “In the Ocean: a year of poetry.”
Books available for preview and purchase.
“the maiden’s voice soars
as she elongates the siren call”
Image “Midnight Harp” courtesy of Esmira