National Poetry Day: Star Poem #starpoem

On the 4th October, National Poetry Day, I crowdsourced a poem on the year’s theme of ‘stars’. This was done over the course of about 12 hours, with a hundred lines coming in from all over the world! Here’s the final piece:

Soothsayers, looking up from the ashes of fires
into the velvet canvas of night
see six stars, held together:
an alignment tangible only to their eyes.

Synaptic codes blaze
raise them to their feet
the dark skin of sky
peeled back
sprinkled with silver dots:
an ancient sense of vertigo.

Thoughts too dense to speak
they look down, breathless
burning with the confusion of long nights.

They may have died when, a billion years ago,
dinosaurs walked here:
obscure galactic dances
supernovae exploding
crashing in nothingness
supermassive thermonuclear fusion
fireflies of beauty
that found no witnesses.

But the stars are still there
myriads of steady revolutions
infinitesimal matter masses
too hot to hold
pulsing pennies
scorching through space
spacewalking light-years to dawn

touching each body found in its place
in marshes
wishing for summer and maidens
in the gutter
wishing for whisky and scraps
in bed
wishing for courage and love.

In the snapshot of an eye
I scrape my shapeless poem
fast and manmade
refracted from this net I cast
upon you – and the stars.


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