Every Moment, in This Moment

Publication Date: August, 2018

Location: poetsonline.org, then go to Archive, then ‘Science & Love’.

Genesis: I’m fascinated by the enormous distances between bodies in the Cosmos, and by the fact that light takes time – sometimes a long time! – to get from there to here. I also love to turn it around, and wonder about those places out in the void where we could theoretically stand, look back at Earth, and see the Romans invading Britain, or the Egyptians building the pyramids. Get far enough away and there’s a place where we could look back and see dinosaurs roaming the land. In response to the ‘Science & Love’ prompt on PoetsOnline, I took this idea and explored the way in which it might relate to a beautiful, now-ended romantic relationship.

 The light from the sun
 Takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds
 To reach the Earth.
 In this moment, you are seeing the sun as it was
 8 minutes and 20 seconds ago.
 Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light years away
 So stand today
 Warming your toes on our second nearest star -
 It’s just a little warmer than the surface of the sun - 
 And look back on the Earth as it was
 4.3 years ago.
 Seen from Alpha Centauri
 Our love is still alive, and thriving.
 4.3 years ago we were walking on the beach in Wales
 Where I taught you to skim flat stones
 Out across the smooth water
 Between the waves. 
 Later, I massaged your glistening, willing body
 In that hot, humid hotel room near Smithfield Market
 And when we were spent, and sated,
 We went out to the bars without showering,
 Trailing pheromones after us, like a veil.
 You could stand on Alpha Centauri
 And watch us move into our house in the country
 With your girls - 
 The day when the wild horses galloped down from the fells,
 The herd parting around our car,
 Rejoining beyond, flowing onwards and out of sight.
 On a bridge of light stretching
 From Earth to Alpha Centauri and beyond,
 Every moment is playing out still – 
 Every moment, in this moment. 

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