Archives for posts with tag: stars
Sullivans-Island-Lighthouse-beach-night

By JonathanLamb (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Beacons for the utterly lost

A bright star led seekers 
    and wise men. 
A bright light gave comfort
to the night 
    and travellers crossing.
A bright beam from the shore
struck ships from death-knell rocks.

Today's nights, made bright with bulbs and glare,
blind the guiding lights
    we still seek everywhere.


I like that these lines read like a carol for the searching, modern spirit. I could half hear it set for voice when I read it through while searching for the title. (This could also have been the influence of Spotify in the background. It isn’t an angry playlist today. Instead it is Hot Hits UK, and right now the Jonas Blue, Dakota remix of Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’.)

I have been thinking quite a bit about our modern lives and how they diffuse the deep resonances of motifs and symbols from the past. Consider the darknesses in the poem: the very depths of night, an unknown travel route and a dark ocean. Our screens and lights illuminate so much of our lives making them visible and navigable. That a bright star or light on a far horizon could provide guidance and encouragement during a journey is something of folklore. It is as quaint and almost as downright silly as talking foxes or birds delivering messages from the faerie realms.

From this, I suspect that the part of us that resonates with fictional motifs recognises these old stirrings, while our modern selves blink it as far as the retina, only to move on with a swipe or tap. Yet for all the bulbs, lights, fluorescent tubes and bright screens, we still use a language of celestial signs and wonders when talking about hoped for beacons. We still seek our lodestars, our North Stars, our guiding stars, our supernovas.

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tilted galaxy

This image of a tilted galaxy appears courtesy of http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/pictures/space/tiltedspiralgalaxy.html

For World Space Week last October I wrote “On the declaration of the first day of the Year of Our Light.”

There are some wonderful lines in this poem, such as

“The swirling spheres in proclamation”,
“Light of more silver bright”
and the bit quoted for the headline, “The whole kerfuffle woke the stars.”

Sometimes I just like poetry for the way it allows words to sound.

For more about my fascination with words, see
Nice Words #1
Nice Words #2
Nice Words #4
Nice words of the moment (from autumn)
Cast them together

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

View of the Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica

By Ben Holt – National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (NASA (Image galleries)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


From night’s horizon
sweep in yowls and howls
across the polar plain.
Glacial blue dims.
The sharpest window opens above:
stars minted by the chill.


Today’s prompt for A Poem A Day October was, “Write a poem incorporating the concept of being ‘frozen,’ whether literal or not.”

All day I have been mulling over the idea of ‘frozen’ as a transition state of water, rather than a state of matters set. In preparation for my idea doodling, I found a recording of Sinfonia Antarctica (Vaughan Williams) on Spotify. An image search online yielded this Guardian photo-essay about spending 9 winter months in Antarctica at the Concordia Station. In the article, the clear view of the stars above earth is mentioned.


Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books

 

Hark! Hark!

The swirling spheres in proclamation

jangled silver bells.

The whole kerfuffle woke the stars and the

Light of more silver bright to

Magnify that

 

We

 

We humans all

Understand

 

Understand, understood, know

The planets, the universe,

All there is

To understand and know.

All of everything.

 

the planets therefore

understood above all

of the universe

since we all

understood (finally, absolutely)

all there is

 

We humans know all

all of

therefore,

all of today,

all of the universe, the planets, understanding,

knowledge,

light,

years,

everything.

I heard on the radio this morning that it is World Space Week. I am often overwhelmed by the enormity and intricacies of the greater universe. Will humans ever really understand it all? Do we really need to? I imagine, loosely, a poetic press conference on the day full knowledge of all is announced.

Preview my first volume of poems here.

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