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Eleanor Lerman

11-02-08

Mystery of Meteors

x

I am out before dawn, marching a small dog through a meager park

Boulevards angle away, newspapers fly around like blind white birds

Two days in a row I have not see the meteors

though the radio news says they are overhead

Leonid’s brimstones are barred by clouds; I cannot read

the signs in heaven, I cannot see night rendered into fire

x

And yet I do believe a net of glitter is above me

You would not think I still knew these things;

I get on the train, I buy the food, I sweep, discuss,

consider gloves or boots, and in the summer,

open windows, find beads to string with pearls

You would not think that I had survived

anything but the life you see me living now

x

In the darkness, the dog stops and sniffs the air

She has been alone she has known danger,

and so now she watched for it always

and I agree, with the conviction of my mistakes.

But in the second part of my life, slowly, slowly,

I begin to council bravery.  Slowly, slowly,

I begin to feel the planets turning, and I am turning

toward the crackling shower of their sparks

x

These are the mysteries I could not approach when I was younger:

the Boulevards, the meteors, the deep desires that split the sky

Walking down the paths of the cold park

I remember myself, the one who can wait out anything

So I caution the dog to go silently, to bear with me

the burden of knowing what spins on and on above our heads

x

For this is our reward: Come Armageddon, come fire or flood,

come love, not love, millennia of portents—

there is a future in which the dog and I are laughing

Born into it, the mystery, I know we will be saved

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-from The Mystery of Meteors

 

The Magellanic Clouds

x

In the age of discovery, the Large Magellanic Cloud was already
   visible

            to the naked eye.

It presided over tragic ocean voyages and massacres, the

   destruction of

libraries and temples, ritual burials and the uneven exchange of

   goods.

Looking through his spyglass, Magellan himself thought it had a

            heart-breaking quality

though his was just a feeling.  Later, scientists were able to tell us

that the problem with the Large Magellanic Cloud is the Tarantula

   Nebula. 

Measurements indicate that this nebula is actually the core of the

Large Magellanic Cloud even though it appears to be off-center

from the rest of the galaxy.  Ah.  Always off-kilter, pursuing

            its own heart,

the Large Magellanic Cloud hugs the horizon but lurks around all

   night.

Sometimes the Large Magellanic Cloud experiences light and

   goodness,

            but more often that not

it knows nothing but trouble.  It is pierced by comets.  It is

in a transition state and grows bigger and more unwieldy every day.

But there is hope!  The Large Magellanic Cloud has a companion,

            a little twin called the Small Magellanic Cloud.

On photographic plates, it sometimes appears blurry but believe me,

            it is there.

It may be hard to see, but it has a kind and spiritual nature.

The Russians have been studying it since the Revolution.

Nixon thought about it a lot, so do people who believe that

           their airplane is about to crash.

Who else thinks about the Small Magellanic Cloud?

People who have problems in their love life and their work

(I, for instance, have had it in my mind for years).

The Small Magellanic Cloud knows about our disappointments

           and it sympathizes.

It worries for us sometimes, so we can sleep.  But the

Small Magellanic Cloud, whose inner heart is perfectly centered,

           always perseveres.

It follows after the Large Magellanic Cloud and picks up the pieces.

Loving us, loving us, loving us, the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Puzzles the astronomers because it seems to have no purpose.

But we know better.  We whisper its name to our children so they

           may be comforted.

We tell them that every day, stars are born in the Small

           Magellanic Cloud

and then spin of into the universe, remembering us, wishing us well.

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-from Our Post Soviet History Unfolds



 

Archive


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Agha Shahid Ali 09-14-07

 

Alice Anderson 11-16-08

 

Renee Ashley 04-10-2010

 

Christianne Balk 07-27-07

 

Brian Barker 07-07-07

 

Polina Barskova 09-13-2010

 

Bruce Beasley 11-22-08

 

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Nicky Beer 08-22-08

 

Nathaniel Bellows 04-27-09

 

Ciaran Berry 01-25-09

 

Linda Bierds 08-31-07

 

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Bruce Bond 02-18-2012

 

John Bradley 03-12-2012

 

Brian Brodeur 03-29-09

 

Michelle Boisseau 09-20-2010 

 

Sophie Cabot Black 03-26-2012

 

Anne Caston 09-24-09

 

Anne Caston 02-27-2011

 

Elizabeth Biller Chapman 01-25-08

 

Nicole Cooley 04-05-09

 

Stephen Cramer 02-14-2011

 

Nicole Cuddeback 03-07-08

 

Steve Davenport 03-29-2010

 

Cortney Davis 05-03-09

 

Todd Davis 11-01-2010

 

James Dickey 03-12-2012

 

Stephen Dobyns 02-26-2012

 

Elizabeth Dodd 09-05-08

 

Karen Donovan 04-15-07

 

Mark Doty 04-11-08

 

Stephen Dunn 11-09-02010

 

Lynn Emanuel 08-30-2010

 

Lynnell Edwards 11-22-2010

 

B. H. Fairchild  09-04-09

 

Elyse Fenton 04-25-2011

 

Nick Flynn 01-28-2012

 

Nick Flynn 10-04-2010

 

Rachel Contreni Flynn 04-10-2011

 

Carolyn Forche 09-21-07

 

Carrie Fountain 03-21-2011

 

James Galvin 02-23-07

 

Margaret Gibson 01-24-10

 

Mary Jo Firth Gillett 02-22-08

 

Dana Gioia 08-23-2010

 

Eugene Gloria 09-20-08

 

Louise Gluck 03-17-2010

 

Kevin Goodan 08-29-08

 

Matthew Graham 11-28-2010

 

Robert Grunst 11-16-07

 

Bruce Guernsey 9-13-2011

 

Elizabeth Hadaway 06-15-07

 

John Haines 11-01-2011

 

Donald Hall 02-10-07

 

Sarah Hannah 11-25-2011

 

Jeff Hardin 08-10-07

 

Elizabeth Haukaas 09-13-2011

 

Brooks Haxton 03-08-10

 

Seamus Heaney 09-11-09

 

Jamey Hecht 12-05-2010

 

Bob Hicok 10-25-2011

 

 

Andrew Hudgins 11-21-09

 

Lynda Hull 05-20-07

 

Henry Israeli 01-23-2011

 

Major Jackson 05-02-2010

 

Mark Jarman 10-19-08

 

Rodney Jones 10-26-09

 

Barbara Jordan 02-02-09

 

Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011

 

Daniel Khalastchi 8-30-2011

 

Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08

 

Jane Kenyon 04-01-07

 

Suji Kwock Kim 11-09-2011

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James Kimbrell 01-19-07

 

Galway Kinnell 11-09-07

 

Yusef Komunyakaa 07-15-07

 

Phil Levine 06-03-07

 

Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08

 

Larry Levis 04-04-08

 

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Lisa Lewis 02-11-2012

 

Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08

 

Corey Marks 10-03-07

 

Adrian Matejka 04-18-08

 

Davis McCombs 01-18-08

 

Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011

 

Michael McGriff 02-22-09

 

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Sharon Olds 10-19-07

 

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Eric Pankey 09-07-07

 

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Ed Pavlic 09-28-07

 

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Lucia Perillo 12-04-09

 

Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011

 

Jon Pineda 04-09-2012

 

Donald Platt 02-15-08

 

Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011

 

Joshua Poteat 11-3-09

 

Wyatt Prunty 02-20-2011

 

Dean Rader 03-07-2011

 

Amy Randolph 03-01-09

 

Robert Randolph 12-12-09

 

Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010

 

Joshua Robbins 11-16-2010

 

David Roderick 12-07-07

 

Bobby C. Rogers 02-04-2012

 

Pattiann Rogers 3-21-08


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Jim Schley 10-19-09

 

Tim Seibles 10-08-07

 

David Shumate 10-26-08

 

Dave Smith 04-10-09 

 

Katherine Soniat 01-21-2012

 

Katherine Soniat 11-30-07

 

Gary Soto 03-23-07

 

Mark Sullivan 08-28-09

 

Mathias Svalina 04-02-2012

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Mark Svenvold 03-23-09

 

Robert Thomas 05-03-2011

 

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Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011

 

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Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07

 

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