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.