All but the brightest of stars
Now invisible from the environs of city and drama
Streetlights illuminate a low, hazy layer of cooler atmosphere,
Making it bright enough so that only the Moon and Venus,
Perhaps Sirius and Capella, and a handful of others still shine
Shine dimly through the numerous airplanes and helicopters.
Most of what one sees is entirely of human design.
Millions of people have become comfortable with this manufactured circumstance,
Sheltered from the awesome ancient wonder of a vast, black, starry sky
Distant suns, dim galaxies, our home blessed with a clear atmosphere
Clear enough to see through and view the cosmos
Alas, our sights are too focused upon things of our own making
With matters of our immediate understanding and concern
Only by escaping the metropolis can find ourselves again
Directly beholding our place in a much larger and more ancient whole
The edge of our wheeling galaxy becomes visible from the desert,
More so from the mountains and the open spaces.
The multitude of suns, the clouds of star-forming dust and gas
The planets, even our own star’s family, are all there before us
Attention drawn away from the mundane,
Heart refreshed with awe and wonder
Once more you understand the infinite vastness of our natural home
And our small part in it all
The most routine of thoughts
Commonest or the most provocative of emotions and desires
Obscured now by the constant mental and emotional burden
Burdens required to live a twentieth-century metropolitan life.
Occluded is much of the range and subtle depth of the human mind.
Comfortable with the familiar mental and emotional routines which shelter
Shelter us from the awesome and seemingly infinite depths of consciousness.
Comfortable now that we can allow them to tell us what to believe
What we can understand, and deal with daily,
Told to avoid going to the desert or the mountains of the mind where
Avoiding anywhere we have the blessed chance to confront ancient depths of reality within the self
And I refuse and step forward…
Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre April 23rd 2010