My stars tonight are punctuated by people –
Scattered, tarnished, ever-distant jewels of present, past and future,
Hanging up there in the giant, curving heavens like longing eyes-
Lost friends, the known, the Dead, the Great and all that’s greater –
The feeling of our infinite, infinitely broken, utterly minute connections.
To see a clear and lovely sky of stars though
Is always like a gift – renewed surprise,
A memory of purity, idealism, brave adventures
And a hope. A map of wonder, picked out by our little questions,
And our endless namings too, and all our needs for definition:
Orion’s belt, The Bear, that mighty Plough,
Who’s giant furrow hangs above our understanding, just like Time and History.
Those friendly, knowable names, in all our search for clear identity – the Map:
Would I were steadfast as thou art?
And yet the stars, like you and I, or love, are something else –
A burning doorway to the fire, the infinite, and death, always beyond our touch,
Hung in the ceaseless heavens like mighty rivers, twinkling repeatedly at our shames –
Our sad betrayals, our pettiness and pride.
Maybe that’s what the sky is,
And all those stars, and all their endless heavens too;
A call at every moment, when we look,
Like icy water thrills the waking the body ,
To be alive, to know and try to live again,
With every strange, familiar, mapped-out revolution of the Earth and Sun and Moon –
Before our special star goes out. The repetition of all that astonishing, icy,
Violent, hopeless grandeur of Everything.
DCD Camaiore December 2017