V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




We drove to Kitt Peak
mile by mile up mountain,
high on the rim of the road
six thousand feet above desert,
clouds rolling through pines
white as bodiless shrouds.
In the visitors center
we read about stars,
their births and deaths,
saw photos of comets frozen
in flames against the dark
and nebulae so beautful—
Horsehead, Whirlpool, Crab—
we gasped to think that life
on wind-scarred earth repeats
that colder ravishing void.
Then we saw the telescopes
domed like giant toadstools,
the largest of the three
a colossus with its eye pointed
at the past, source of strange
signals more radiant than
the stars in our entire galaxy.

How smart, how clever we are
to locate the source of gamma
bursts and dark matter, to see
into the heart of the universe,
Buddha-like, with an eye
that crops the night skies.
Then again we're a species
losing all contact to the earth,
hunting flying saucers, drunk
with chaos that speeds upside down,
heaven's gate opening
to our dreams the dance
we feel so real dancing us back
to the sightless cave.

God of supernovas, look at us,
stardust creatures who shout
to darkness, who look and fall
into beautiful, bottomless space
with nothing of time save
the solar winds smearing their cries.
Let your cool dead starlight
spreading out into endless night
bless us with such images
as the spirit would clothe itself in.
Horsehead, whirlpool, crab,
clouds of distant fire
offering wealth to needy earth.

© by Andrés Rodriguez



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