Astronomy

Astronomers

As evening falls, the town is turning inwards
Like the leaves on a chrysanthemum.
We pass, increasingly unseen,
Our eyes fixed dimly on the ground
Our several worlds all splitting,
Shrinking down to one small point
And hemmed in by the darkness all around.

Then, unthought-of, lamps are turned on up and down the street
By hands devoted to the day; to light;
To certainties; to clarity of view,
To clear integrity of sight
Where gold is always gold and blue is blue.

But high above the town, half-seen through shadowed trees,
The grey observatory waits for night with sliding-open mouth.
Under its dark dome, astronomers converge,
Smile quietly as lakes of fading daylight wash across the skies.
Then, with excitement, turn their lens’ careful view
On countless points of light:
On cataracts of midnight gold, clouds of golden blue,
Dancing infinities of shifting sight
Forever hidden from our landlocked daylight eyes.

Brian Quinn
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