Star Talk

by Willow

Twenty miles offshore,
from a womb-like sleeping berth,
I poked my head through the hatch
to find a transformed earth;
The stars were a blizzard in the sky;
there were snowflakes in the waves,
so many constellations that
they chased the sky away!

I was in a star globe,
like the ones that children shake;
the music of the spheres was played
clear enough to make hearts ache –
With no artificial light, more stars
than grains of sand on all the shores
of all the beaches and all the seas,
Carl Sagan was so right…
Sea and Sky
Sky and Sea
I felt the grand immensity—

And with a sense of wonder,
now slowly stirring, beginning to simmer,
how the light wrote upon my soul,
until it quivered and burned!
I leaned down to the nickering school of whales,
to share the star talk I had learned.

©Willow Rose 2012

8 thoughts on “Star Talk Willow Rose

  1. Ohhhhh Sweetie! I love, love, love this from you! There is such a sense of innocent awe, wonderment in the entire piece, and you take us with you on that journey. I felt as if I was free floating in a wonderful ocean of stars and sea joined as one! Thank you little Willow!

    • Thank you so much Lisa! I worked on this for weeks, really, as I wanted to convey exactly what you described –it is impossible the way the sky looks twenty miles out in a boat so tiny there wasn’t even a head; so far out there is no artificial light at all and the sky really has to squeeze in between the stars there are that many of them! There were so many adventures on this trip I just decided to try to take you with me in that place so full of wonder it was a truly transcendental experience where I felt as one with the universe. I can’t think of anyone I would rather bring along, thank you for coming!~~~~~~love, willow~~~~~~~

  2. Here is a thing that impresses me, the cadence of the lines carries the poem forward without making me feel like I am “skipping,” and at the same time, there’s rhyme, but it is not enslaving. That clearly takes work, and a resourceful brain. The imagery is a nice extension to pieces like “Starman,” “The Little Prince,” “2001,” in reorienting my perception to a sort of outside-in. Here you have made it new by grounding the experience in language as an element: artificial light; Carl Sagan; nickering whales. What is awesome is not necessarily ineffable.

    • As one of my favorite poets, Edward, I was looking forward to your feedback as I struggled for weeks with this most memorable adventure and how to take my readers along on what was actually two miles of long-line shark fishing in a tub with no head for an entire two weeks. The poem kept turning into a narrative; how to write about a captain who refused to fin and was bigger than life while describing how the deck ran red with shark blood and the sound underwater from the school of porpoise as well as jumping into an ocean we had just pulled 65 sharks from; well, the internal “cadence” was non-existent; the rythm and tone forced; the imagery trite; in short, it was doggerell as there could have been twenty poems which were all different in that piece and although I tried for something like the sound devices used in Rossiti’s “Goblin Market” nothing worked. So I just had to focus on the “beeyuns and beeyuns” of stars that Sagan had said were as plentiful as “grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world,” a statement I believed to be slightly hyperbolic until I saw the panorama twenty miles out –then I believed and knew; it was really as if the sky had to squeeze in between the stars! To explain this glimpse of infinity and how it changed me forever did seem ineffable until I found and followed the tiny thread that had the potential of a tapestry and just followed the weave until I grasped the tiniest corner of the macrocosm. There is so much more! Thank you for casting your professional eye at my little snapshot of the star-swept sky.

      • two miles of long-line shark fishing in a tub with no head for an entire two weeks.
        a captain who refused to fin and was bigger than life
        the deck ran red with shark blood
        the sound underwater from the school of porpoise
        jumping into an ocean we had just pulled 65 sharks from;
        well, the internal “cadence” was non-existent;
        the rythm and tone forced; the imagery trite;
        there could have been twenty poems
        like the sound devices used in Rossiti’s “Goblin Market”
        nothing worked.
        focus on the “beeyuns and beeyuns” of stars that Sagan had said
        it was really as if the sky had to squeeze in between the stars!

        Forgive my taking liberties, but I think there’s a poem here, too.

  3. Beautiful Willow. Very visual! “And with a sense of wonder,
    now slowly stirring, beginning to simmer,
    how the light wrote upon my soul,
    until it quivered and burned!” Experience etched. I love this piece. It is solitde in thought and wonder.

    Be well.

    • Thank you, Ron, I fell flat at the end as there is so very much I wanted to tell about; after working on it for weeks I thought I could not talk about pulling in 65 sharks or the entire long lining experience which was so many years ago when the ire of activists would not be raised yet I think I may go over the poems you wrote that had a narrative touch just to see; and especially the poem about your father since you’re commenting I appreciate it and need to stay here for some time though I need more hours in the day, really I thank you for that sense of wonder when the sky is full of stars like that is so hard to capture; and there is a whole story that you manage to tell; I do learn so much from you and just love the metaphors and similes for without those sound devices, a poem is more like prose. I sent your poem to a girl who was going through a heartbreak; it must have helped since now she is engaged!!!~~~~~~Thank you!


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