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Friday, April 28, 2017

Under the Big Dipper (take 2)

Over the last 5 years I have published more than 500 poems (including some translations) here on my lampoetry blog.  For the most part I like to write in the moment, which means that I usually don't revise or rework these poems very much before publishing them online.  But as a departure from my usual practice, I am currently preparing to publish a group of 30 or so of these poems as a stand-alone collection, which has given me an opportunity to do a little bit more clean-up and rewrite on some of them.  For me the challenge is how to keep the poems fresh and in the moment - which is the way I try to write - even while rewriting them long after the initial experience that gave rise to the poem in the first place.   This is one of the poems that I intend to include as part of the collection, which I have been reworking in the last few days.  You can read the original version here.

Through a thin scrim
Of stratus clouds
Each point of the Dipper
Briefly emerged last night
Opening up to a vista
Billions of light years hence
Helping me to levitate
And better appreciate
The very curvature of space

Once born aloft on those
High orbital currents
I was drawn
Higher still
Following the Polestar north
To a freedom absolute
My disembodied spirit soared
Soon dispersing among
The legion of stars
Like a handful of
Particulate matter

Then as the clouds
Regrouped overhead
I plummeted earthward
And soon found myself
 Grounded once again  
In corporal form convicted
That from now until
The Dipper inverts
In another couple of months
The earth is going to continue
Sending forth its blessings
In a multitude of ways 

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