By Claudia Sullivan

Star Gazers

Tonight I saw a slice of moon lying on its back,
And I was cradled gently there in lunar leisure
     Observing you.
I could do no more than watch,
                               and wonder,
For we are hopelessly locked in an aphelion orbit;
Comet and sun, moon and earth traveling,
     racing forward on pre-ordained paths.
But the forward motion does not advance.
It merely revolves.
Endless, elliptical, journey.
You are the eclipser.
Constant concealment veiled in a disguise of cosmic opacity.
Time passes,
Abandoning my crescent cradle I drift like one of those             
     falling stars that lifts it hair and takes flight.
Plunging into the blackness the star ignites
     then gives birth to colors and fire
          and dies away forever.

Innocence Lost

I sit by the river and watch
  night come in
    subtly but surely
It overtakes the sky, the river, and me,
  enveloping us all in quiet darkness.

Daytime comes in degrees depending on the sky
  but night is always deep and complete.

I sit by the river and watch an innocent swimming,
  throwing rocks into the murky river bottom
    then dive down to retrieve them.

I wonder where I fit in with all this eternity-
the call of wild birds, the creeping of deer, armadillo and squirrels.

The frogs croak in their syncopated rhythm-
soon answered by four kinds of night birds.

I hear the water flowing over rocks in the distance and
  still the innocent swims and throws and dives and re-
    emerges in a flurry of bubbles.

This is eternal-
  the sky, the water, the insects, birds and animals and too
    little boys playing in the water.

He looks like the center of the universe--
like some gentle focal point that all the gods must
watch over as he bobs in the water
  making an endless series of ebbing and flowing concentric

Perhaps this is the center of the universe--
it all begins with a little boy in the water
surrounded by water and trees and hills
and all else that is civilized and uncivilized.

"The fireflies are out," he calls in a clear and prophetic

He knows that night has come and he secretly understands that this is the death of another day.

He does not need to contemplate that one more round of the sun means his life is that much shorter.

In his innocence he is part of the eternal,
  the constant-
    the fireflies, the water, the hills
    and all that is beyond that is
    civilized and uncivilized.

The night stretches on.

The whiteness of his body is more vivid against the growing dark greenness of the water.

He splashes and makes white froth all around.

He stands and walks out of the water
  like an evolving being of primeval times.

He stretches out his legs and climbs onto the hard ground.

He has removed himself from the eternal-
  the constant, the source of us all-

He leaves the civilized and strides into the uncivilized.

One thought on “Star Gazers and Innocence Lost

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