Have a look around at Poetry Breakfast and see my poem “When We See Stars.”
she specializes in constructions
using egg shells
old coins and bits of string
he writes poems in pencil
from free verse to rhyme
they live on other planets
a million miles away
and gossip on the radio
with seven hours delay
When we hear stars
we think backlit pinholes
on black velvet and we wonder
what lies beyond the smooth surface
of the finite expanding universe.
Other nights we think
star wombs pregnant with iron
giving birth to planet children
like a fusion of mass and energy
unbounded by love’s strange topologies.
Listening to the music of the body
and the music of stars,
by a starfish-blotch of cream in coffee
shaped like a neuron cell body
or a supernova, either way
floating on a brown lake sunk in a deep white well
stained by thin brown rings,
concentric thoughts in a season of fire
just beyond the flickering of my eye
like a novel that hinges
in small part on the dubious proposition
that a man could kill himself by simply
holding his breath.
What does the storm set free?
Spirits stripped of flesh on their slow walk.
— “The Speed of Belief,” from Life on Mars, by Tracy K. Smith
So we both lost our fathers,
your Floyd William Smith, 1935-2008
and my Richard Alan Sharp, 1936-2007,
both engineers, yours worked on the Hubble
and mine on the fuel cell for Gemini in the 60s.
You think of the soul wandering, a man
without country, spinning, perhaps to touch
down on Earth again, through you,
while I imagine the soul, or something
like one, fueling a distant star cluster
with a power that could only be love.
And so I am left to look at you, wide-eyed
with hair exploding like a supernova,
and believe I see him there, too,
in your smile, seeing through your eyes,
your father who looked to the stars,
toward my father, burning in the night.
our fingers are verses
of a double cinquain separated
between fingertips nearly touching
through the foggy
Mistress Moon, I feel your million-mile stare
over my shoulder as I cross the black plain
of night, but my weak Earth-bound eyes only
see the dumb grin on your pock-marked face.
You are the shape and heft of light and its absence.
In your wax and wane we know death and birth
and the mighty tug of sea-tide and womb-blood.
Tell me what you see in your blue-white sight.
Mice scurrying across the wind-spun snow,
the red-eyed wolf, the faint glow of my heart,
more ash than ember? Can you penetrate
the caul of deceit that smothers me, beneath
to the field of tiny stars tattooed across my chest?
Have you missed your mother these four billion
years, or did you long ago turn your best side
away from her, toward the cold fires of eternity?