Poetry for Stargazers

I’m on vacation this week, so I was looking for a quick and easy post. Searching for ideas, I discovered this poem three folders deep in my archives. It dates from the mid-1980s. The author was a friend of a colleague, and was looking for an outlet for her poetry. I promised I’d get it into print, then promptly forgot about it.

Her poem languished on 7-8 generations of hard drives, starting with a 20 Mb (!) HD on an 8 MHz IBM AT — my first personal computer. My operating system was DOS, my monitor was a 12″ monochrome CRT, and my rich-text editor was New York Edit, purchased for $5 on a floppy disc. The internet did not exist.

So it’s about time these words saw daylight. Of course, I needed an appropriate graphic to go with it, and the Hubble Space Telescope provided an excellent image of the Orion Nebula, colorized to enhance contrast. Enjoy.

 

I PAINTED THE SKY LAST NIGHT

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
The palette of my mind’s eye
Conjured up companions,
And as I tossed out a canopy of stars,
My slumbering soul awakened to nature’s color kaleidoscope.

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
A daub of white and a splash of blue,
A profusion of crimson and a hint of burnished orange.
And suddenly, darkness’ dome flared outward
Ablaze with the pulsating prism of life’s colors.

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
Planets of incandescent hues,
Shooting stars who tattooed the ebony sky,
And an appreciative and infinite galaxy
Applauded my efforts.

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
The twins eagerly greeted me,
The hunter vowed to protect me,
The seven sisters warmly embraced me,
And the Phoenix offered purification to me.

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
Leo, Pegasus and Taurus
Illuminated me with their light,
Showered me with cosmic meteor dust,
And resplendently lit my homeward path.

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
Constellation-guided,
I realized that the Death Star perceived
Was Polaris, the morning star
Coaxing me to life’s renaissance.

I painted the sky last night
When I was lonely.
The drinking gourd nourished me,
The Southern Cross shepherded me,
And thus emboldened, I transcended the firmament
To the zenith of celestial wonders.

— by Melinda K. Blade

Next Week in Sky Lights ⇒ How to Use a Telescope

Q&A: How Much of the Earth Can Be Seen
How to Use a Telescope