Tuesday, 18 February 2014
from Blackwater Quartet, selection 3
Pictures from the Moon
The booster rises, lifting stage by stage
into the starry melt, the blue dissolve
the astronauts in tumbling circuits gauge
against ascendant constellations; solve
the universe. Where catchlight lives evolve
in fiery traces, revolutions chase
a turning rock and overtake each phase.
Armstrong dances in Tranquillity.
He speaks into the helmet mike, space-speak
a tiny world away from our TV:
A-OK, the crimped dust bootprint, antique
resolve to sanctify the earth’s physique.
We hover here, and question what it means
to clear the gravity beyond our screens.
The flag’s foil galaxy unfurls, its field
a rigid fakery in solar glare,
saluted over vacuum miles of steeled
intent acknowledging the life we share.
Within the breached continuum, our flair
for physics fills the sky: the world bluewhite,
remote, yet intimate this summer night.
The drifting debris from the mission turns
to atmospheric haze, a random ash
of spent ignition fading as it burns.
They ride the heatshield home, a sinking trash
of expectations, parachuted cache
recovered from the hollow zone, the deep
we recognise in promises we keep.
copyright 2004-2014 Estill Pollock