Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Nothing travels like light does--
no earthly stuff can be
so fine and fast.

Imagine this:
millenniums past, and
no Copernicus
nor Einstein yet
to reflect what light is--

(Said Einstein, "Give your friend a flashlight,
turn it on, watch him run and measure it,"
far down amoung so many other lights).

What were the questions asked
that night
by shepherds (a mere instant ago
as fluid time is measured
at the velocity of light) in Judean fields,
figures shaken out of sleep by a stream of Joy
in particles and waves of white and gold and rose
starlight bending itself at last in air
above some dazzled sheep and goats,
illuminating rocks, and hoofprints among the brush, and ragged tents.

Now "clearsighted" as Cezanne,
who once told his friend Emile Bernard the secret
of truly seeing is "to get
to the very heart of what is before you," the shepherds
follow it to the crib where it illuminates
this God-child.

Now this:
we get "to the very heart"
of what is before us, and we're "clearsighted" as Cezanne,
as those shepherds! Imagine:
the Baby's newborn cry resounds across the universe
lit with a hundred billions of fires,
bridging for us this immense gulf between
His radiance

and everlasting dark.

Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and J.M. Apellaniz (IAA, Spain)



Crafty Green Poet said...

I love that idea of wondering what people thought about things before the great minds made up their theories. A new way of thinking about the shepherds in the Christmas story too. Lots to think about in this poem.

Anonymous said...

I often wonder about the lights up there that aren't really right there anymore. There's a time machine right in front of us, and you've used it. BB

Tammy said...

Radiance vs everlasting dark...yes! Lovely


twitches said...

I alllllllways love your pics!

Anonymous said...

Well put indeed. So true. It's good to reflect on the true meaning and forget the hype - you do that so well. Thank God for you!

Anonymous said...

Pictures from space dazzle do your words.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant prose and thoughts. Just beautiful. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and bright new year, filled with lots of light!

silverlight said...

birth of life.
Amazing photo.