Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Hadfield Shows us Earth from Space

Sunrise is a sequin poised
on the bolt of silk that wraps the Earth
in blue. Islands are luminous snails

or exclamations marks
shouting ‘Look’. The Outback,
an abstract from the walls of The Tate.

Lights reveal where people live,
cobweb cities with roads that snake
or segregate the buildings into blocks.

Patterns emerge. Deserts, ridged and whorled
like human skin under a microscope.
Perspective shifts. Near and far are one.

His camera fails to catch
the grinding heat of sand, the tug
and pull of wind through hair

but shows the desolation of the Aral sea,
grit in the eyes of storms, our place
in a universe too vast to understand.

Looking up we see the astronaut
behind the lens. The scientist, teacher,
poet, most of all, the man

who searched within himself
to find the courage for his voyage
and then reached out to carry us along.

© Jan Harris

Chris Hadfield: 'Space was too good not to share it'

Jan’s work has appeared in Abridged, Ink Sweat and Tears, Ribbons, and A Night at the Movies, an e-book published by the Poetry Kit. Her proudest achievement is becoming a grandmother.

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful Jan! I've always wondered how to aptly describe the beauty of earth from space, it seemed too amazing for words, but you've done it here most spectacularly!
    And I love how the last stanza takes us back to what it means to be human, which is just as awe-inspiring as the vastness of the universe.
    Love it!

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  2. Thanks very much Siobhan. The photographs Chris Hadfield posted on Twitter are stunning.

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