To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [4]

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [4]

 

I walk up my own street after sunset.
The moon is not yet up and the last streetlight

is behind me. Slowly, slowly I trudge up the hill
and slowly, slowly my shadow fades into the dark bricks.

I have lost myself and where I am going
but with no streetlights the roof has been taken off

the world. If I stood still I could find and count a star
for each of the eighteen thousand days I have lived so far.

Here in the dark stretch of street they are with me.
With my shadow gone and the dark bricks

pretending not to move at the speed of stars.

14 thoughts on “To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [4]

  1. pi314chron

    Just spectacular, Jeff. According to the clues you gave, you must be a tad on either side of 50. Sheesh, you’re just a kid! I have jockey shorts older than you are!

    (Sidenote: I worked for a short time as lecturer, telescope operator , and tour guide for Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona; have built two or three large telescopes, and have been an amateur astronomer for over sixty years. And I LOVE your poem!!)

    Reply
    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      Thanks Ron! Scary details about jockey shorts aside, that’s fascinating stuff about your experience with telescopes and astronomy. There must have been something really satisfying about being involved in the construction of an object that brings the sky closer.

      Reply
  2. Sunshine Jansen

    You just took me back to one of my favorite places on earth, Flagstaff Arizona where streetlights are outlawed and the stars are so breathtakingly numerous and close. Also, the strength of the line “but with no streetlights the roof has been taken off / the world…” evokes for me the strength of Masahide’s “barn’s burned down / now I can see the moon”. Beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

      Thanks SJ! Wow, those lines from Masahide are great. I have read several different translations of that poem but I think the lines as you quote them are my favorite.

      Reply
    2. pi314chron

      SJ, I share your love for Flagstaff, AZ, especially for Lowell Observatory where I was privileged to work a few years ago. What a glorious place!

      Reply
  3. pi314chron

    Jeff, SJ’s comment has reminded me of Robert Frost’s poem “The Star-Splitter” which I’m sure you have read. If not, now’s the time!

    Reply
  4. Chris

    “With my shadow gone and the dark bricks/pretending not to move at the speed of stars.” Wonderful poem, Jeff! Sharing it on Facebook.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s