Archives for posts with tag: stars

alex_ruiz
Putting together the pieces of myself
by Suvojit Banerjee

A little boy
wistfully star-gazing on a night, and seeking
warmth from the farthest corners of the
universe; the hapless man
standing amidst the heat-haze
of a city crowded with faces
unknown, and talking
to a cat,
thinking it will lead him to love.
A shy, timid creature
who’s Dorian Gray at self-love,
yet knee-weak for that toddler
and its toothless smile.
A romantic who dwells
on the hypocrisies of seeking infinity
in finite, flesh-and-blood
Little pieces of stardust
fall from the sky
while stars tinkle, and they become
Tiny droplets of love
trickle down through the mountains
and manifest unto
One by one
faces come, faces fade
bucketful of memories,
images in a million mirrors;
They become
me.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My creative process is mainly based upon observations and then me trying to put those random, haphazard things into orderly lines of words and meaningful sentences. Living in a cosmopolitan city has certain benefits, as through my daily activity to work and back, I can observe many individuals busy in their own chores. My work, from time to time, also gets influenced by other writers and their amazing works.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Suvojit Banerjee‘s work reflects searching-for-answers moments and changes that he sees his city go through every single day. His work has been published in a several online magazines. He currently works in a software company, but writes his heart out every chance that he gets. He lives in India.

IMAGE: “Starry Night” by Alex Ruiz. Prints available at fineartamerica.com. Visit the artist at conceptmonster.net.

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Kepler-22b
by Tamara Madison

There you are at last!
I’m sure it’s you –
I can almost see you
there, waving at me:
my twin, my soul mate
my lover. Now
I can give up my search.
It’s only a matter of time
when we’ll be together
my love, my perfect
love. At last
someone who sees me
who knows me
who understands me
without words,
someone whom I too
will see and understand –
someone I can devote
my life to.
It will not matter
that our arms
may not match
that our bodies
may not fit
that we have no
common language
but the language
of desire
pulsing from your heart
to mine
over the mere 600 light years
that lie in the vast
and hopeful darkness
between your balmy
juicy world
and mine.

IMAGE: Artist’s conception of Kepler-22b (Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech).

NOTE: Kepler-22b is an extrasolar planet orbiting G-type star Kepler-22, located about 600 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus. Discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope in 2011, it is the first known transiting planet to orbit within the habitable zone of a Sun-like star — the region where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist. The planet is 2.4 times the size of Earth. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara Madison teaches English and French at a public high school in Los Angeles. Raised on a citrus farm in the California desert, Tamara’s life has taken her many places, including Europe and the former Soviet Union, where she spent fifteen months in the 1970s. A swimmer and dog lover, Tamara says, “All I ever wanted to do with my life was write, and I mostly write poetry because it suits my lifestyle; I like the way one can say so much in the economical space of a poem.”

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ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL
by Pattiann Rogers

How confident I am it is there. Don’t I bring it,   
As if it were enclosed in a fine leather case,   
To particular places solely for its own sake?   
Haven’t I set it down before the variegated canyon   
And the undeviating bald salt dome?   
Don’t I feed it on ivory calcium and ruffled   
Shell bellies, shore boulders, on the sight   
Of the petrel motionless over the sea, its splayed   
Feet hanging? Don’t I make sure it apprehends   
The invisibly fine spray more than once?
 
I have seen that it takes in every detail
I can manage concerning the garden wall and its borders.
I have listed for it the comings and goings
Of one hundred species of insects explicitly described.
I have named the chartreuse stripe
And the fimbriated antenna, the bulbed thorax   
And the multiple eye. I have sketched
The brilliant wings of the trumpet vine and invented
New vocabularies describing the interchanges between rocks   
And their crevices, between the holly lip   
And its concept of itself.
 
And if not for its sake, why would I go
Out into the night alone and stare deliberately   
Straight up into 15 billion years ago and more?
 
I have cherished it. I have named it.   
By my own solicitations   
I have proof of its presence. 
***
“On the Existence of the Soul” appears in Pattiann Rogers‘ collection Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Pattiann Rogers (Milkweed Editions, 1994).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Pattiann Rogers was born in 1941 in Joplin, Missouri. She attended the University of Missouri, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and went to the University of Houston where she earned an MA in creative writing. Her awards and honors also include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Poetry Fellowship, Poetry’s Tietjens and Bess Hokin Prizes, the Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest, the Strousse Award from Prairie Schooner, and four Pushcart Prizes. Rogers has taught at numerous colleges and universities as well as in high schools and kindergartens.

PAINTING: “The Starry Night” (1889) by Vincent van Gogh

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STARS
by Marjorie Pickthall

Now in the West the slender moon lies low,
And now Orion glimmers through the trees,
Clearing the earth with even pace and slow,
And now the stately-moving Pleiades,
In that soft infinite darkness overhead
Hang jewel-wise upon a silver thread.
 
And all the lonelier stars that have their place,
Calm lamps within the distant southern sky,
And planet-dust upon the edge of space,
Look down upon the fretful world, and I
Look up to outer vastness unafraid
And see the stars which sang when earth was made. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marjorie Pickthall (1883–1922) was born in England but lived in Canada from the age of seven. She was once considered the best Canadian poet of her generation.

ILLUSTRATION: “Crescent Moon with Earthshine and the Constellation Orion” by David Nunuk. Prints available at allposters.com.

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PASSION FOR SOLITUDE
by Cesare Pavase
Translated by Geoffrey Brock

I’m eating a little supper by the bright window.
The room’s already dark, the sky’s starting to turn.
Outside my door, the quiet roads lead,
after a short walk, to open fields.
I’m eating, watching the sky—who knows
how many women are eating now. My body is calm:
labor dulls all the senses, and dulls women too.
 
Outside, after supper, the stars will come out to touch
the wide plain of the earth. The stars are alive,
but not worth these cherries, which I’m eating alone.
I look at the sky, know that lights already are shining
among rust-red roofs, noises of people beneath them.
A gulp of my drink, and my body can taste the life
of plants and of rivers. It feels detached from things.
A small dose of silence suffices, and everything’s still,
in its true place, just like my body is still.
 
All things become islands before my senses,
which accept them as a matter of course: a murmur of silence.
All things in this darkness—I can know all of them,
just as I know that blood flows in my veins.
The plain is a great flowing of water through plants,
a supper of all things. Each plant, and each stone,
lives motionlessly. I hear my food feeding my veins
with each living thing that this plain provides.
 
The night doesn’t matter. The square patch of sky
whispers all the loud noises to me, and a small star
struggles in emptiness, far from all foods,
from all houses, alien. It isn’t enough for itself,
it needs too many companions. Here in the dark, alone,
my body is calm, it feels it’s in charge.
***
“Passion for Solitude” appears in Cesare Pavese’s collection Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-1950 (Copper Canyon Press, 2002).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cesare Pavese (1908 –1950) was an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator. In his home country, he is widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century. (Source: wikipedia.org.)

PHOTO: “The stars outside my window” by Chris Sanchez, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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ASTRONOMY LESSON
by Alan R. Shapiro 

The two boys lean out on the railing   
of the front porch, looking up.
Behind them they can hear their mother   
in one room watching “Name That Tune,”   
their father in another watching   
a Walter Cronkite Special, the TVs   
turned up high and higher till they   
each can’t hear the other’s show.   
The older boy is saying that no matter   
how many stars you counted there were   
always more stars beyond them   
and beyond the stars black space   
going on forever in all directions,   
so that even if you flew up
millions and millions of years   
you’d be no closer to the end   
of it than they were now
here on the porch on Tuesday night   
in the middle of summer.
The younger boy can think somehow   
only of his mother’s closet,   
how he likes to crawl in back   
behind the heavy drapery
of shirts, nightgowns and dresses,   
into the sheer black where
no matter how close he holds   
his hand up to his face
there’s no hand ever, no
face to hold it to.
 
A woman from another street
is calling to her stray cat or dog,   
clapping and whistling it in,
and farther away deep in the city   
sirens now and again
veer in and out of hearing.
 
The boys edge closer, shoulder   
to shoulder now, sad Ptolemies,
the older looking up, the younger
as he thinks back straight ahead
into the black leaves of the maple
where the street lights flicker
like another watery skein of stars.
“Name That Tune” and Walter Cronkite
struggle like rough water
to rise above each other.
And the woman now comes walking
in a nightgown down the middle
of the street, clapping and
whistling, while the older boy
goes on about what light years
are, and solar winds, black holes,
and how the sun is cooling
and what will happen to
them all when it is cold.
***
“Astronomy Lesson” appears in Alan R. Shapiro’s collection Happy Hour (The University of Chicago Press, 1987).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alan Shapiro (born in 1952), the author of numerous collections of poetry, has won the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Los Angeles Book Prize, and a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award. He has taught at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

PHOTO: Brad Kelly Photo, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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CULTURE AND THE UNIVERSE
by Simon J. Ortiz

Two nights ago
in the canyon darkness,
only the half-moon and stars,
only mere men.
Prayer, faith, love,
existence.
                       We are measured
by vastness beyond ourselves.
Dark is light.
Stone is rising.
 
I don’t know
if humankind understands
culture: the act
of being human
is not easy knowledge.
 
With painted wooden sticks
and feathers, we journey
into the canyon toward stone,
a massive presence
in midwinter.
 
We stop.
                       Lean into me.
The universe
sings in quiet meditation.
We are wordless:
I am in you.
Without knowing why
culture needs our knowledge,
we are one self in the canyon.
And the stone wall
I lean upon spins me
wordless and silent
to the reach of stars
and to the heavens within.
It’s not humankind after all
nor is it culture
that limits us.
It is the vastness
we do not enter.
It is the stars
we do not let own us.
***
“Culture and the Universe” appears in Simon J. Ortiz‘s collection Out There Somewhere (University of Arizona Press, 2002).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Simon J. Ortiz, an Acoma Pueblo Indian, was born and raised near Albuquerque, New Mexico, grew up speaking the Acoma tongue. After attending Fort Lewis College and the University of New Mexico, Ortiz earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the University of Iowa in 1969. In the early 1970s he began to write in earnest while teaching at various colleges, and in 1982 won a Pushcart Prize and a wide audience with From Sand Creek. His work also includes 1992’s Woven Stone—a spiritual autobiography that blends poetry and prose. (Read more at poetryfoundation.org)

PHOTO: “Stars over Bryce Canyon” (Utah) by Dana Sohm, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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SPIDER CRYSTAL ASCENSION
by Charles Wright

The spider, juiced crystal and Milky Way, drifts on his web through the night sky
And looks down, waiting for us to ascend …
 
At dawn he is still there, invisible, short of breath, mending his net.
 
All morning we look for the white face to rise from the lake like a tiny star.
And when it does, we lie back in our watery hair and rock.
***
“Spider Crystal Ascension” by Charles Wright appears in Country Music: Selected Early Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1982)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charles Wright (born August 25, 1935) is an American poet. He shared the National Book Award in 1983 for Country Music: Selected Early Poems and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for Black Zodiac. (Read more at wikipedia.org)

PHOTO: “A twisted star-forming web in Galaxy IC 342” (NASA). Note: Looking like a spider’s web swirled into a spiral, the galaxy IC 342 presents its delicate pattern of dust in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Seen in infrared light, the faint starlight gives way to the glowing bright patterns of dust found throughout the galaxy’s disk. (Read more at nasa.gov)

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LIGHT-YEARS
by Hester Knibbe (Translated by Jacquelyn Pope)

It’s a beautiful world, you said,
with these trees, marshes, deserts,
grasses, rivers and seas
 
and so on. And the moon is really something
in its circuits
of relative radiance. Include
 
the wingèd M, voluptuous
Venus, hotheaded Mars, that lucky devil
J and cranky Saturn, of course, plus
 
U and N and the wanderer P, in short
the whole solar family, complete with its
Milky Way, and count up all the other
 
systems with dots and spots and in
that endless emptiness what you’ve got
is a commotion of you-know-what. It’s a beautiful
 
universe, you said, just take a good look
through the desert’s dark glasses
for instance or on your back
 
in seas of grass, take a good look
at the deluge of that Rorschach—we’re standing out there
somewhere, together.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hester Knibbe’s books of poems include Oogsteen (2009) and Bedrieglijke dagen (2008), both from De Arbeiderspers. She received the A. Roland Holst prize in 2009.

PHOTO: “Desert Snow” by Wally Pacholka/Astropics.com, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Note on photo: Constellation Canis Major with the brightest star of night sky, Sirius, shines above Southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park (December 2008).

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CHOOSE SOMETHING LIKE A STAR
by Robert Frost

O Star (the fairest one in sight),

We grant your loftiness the right

To some obscurity of cloud –

It will not do to say of night,

Since dark is what brings out your light.

Some mystery becomes the proud.

But to be wholly taciturn

In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn

By heart and when alone repeat.

Say something! And it says “I burn.”

But say with what degree of heat.

Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.

Use language we can comprehend.

Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,

But does tell something in the end.

And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,

Not even stooping from its sphere,

It asks a little of us here.

It asks of us a certain height,

So when at times the mob is swayed

To carry praise or blame too far,

We may choose something like a star

To stay our minds on and be staid.

PAINTING: “Starry Night” by Alex Ruiz. ARTIST’S NOTE: This is an homage to Vincent van Gogh, and to his painting “The Starry Night,” one of my all time favorites. We see him standing here, looking up at the night sky…probably in awe, as he wondered how he would capture the beauty he saw. (Read more at io9.com.)