Saturday, 13 October 2012

Out of the void . . . and then?

Birth of a star
(source: NASA)

Out of the void . . . and then?

Out of
The void
In one small step
The phoenix rises from the ashes
A finch born out of the darkness.

Destiny? Pre-ordained?
With vice or virtue
Thus spoke the reborn
In discovery, anxiety is the dizziness of freedom

Forests falling and cities rising,
Lives being lived, loves being loved,
In hotels and heavens and hospitals,
In loveliness and loneliness and peace.

Blocks of flats scrambling for the sky,
Yellow streetlights below, accentuating the gloom,
Commuters ignore the notes floating on the air,
Casting piteous glances at the wonderer in the gutter,

And with the invention, the shell, the bullet,
We turned our attention from the stars,
Took one small step, but a great leap back,
We fight, we squabble,
Like rabid dogs in the dirt,
Blood spilled forms red tendrils,
They cover the Earth.

And the stars we ignored,
They are at peace -
They judge -
They sigh -
And look away -
In shame.

The stars gentle blush caresses dusty plains
Untouched epochs passed, until time finally slows
Expectant of the arrival
So imminent in its slow descent
Clouds appear then clear, residue remains
Silence is stifling in vacuous space
Never the cry of a swan nor call of a dove
Has this place heard
Man’s footstep makes no sound, though it is firmly there
Voices from inside resound the call
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

Episodes of science,
Influenced transgressions.
The stars are away then.
As Atlas passed,
As the atmosphere was lost.

We lament,
Yet disregard the ocean;
Stain, gorillas and green.
Deep sea diving
For shallow waters.

With light like silver screen,
We gain innocence
And lose but all.

The star is so distant.
A pinpoint of light,
Etched in the black.
With no one to say if it is ours
Or just a taunt from the abyss.
It is so cold here,
Even in the richness of the light.
An ocean of diamond blankets the planet,
With icebergs of crystals…
More than all the wealth of our
Barren Earth.
But they have lost their wealth,
Without the star they have lost their gleam.
And with their dark, extinguished my dream.

Iris to iris
Yours is a cascade of eternal onyx
A shroud of uncertainty encompassing, surrounding all with insubstantiality
Full of forgotten wishes and forgotten lovers
Mine is quaint and murky green
Gleaming membrane in awe of your expanse
What happened here to turn you char-black?
Only small beacons, blossoming in the abyss
Fragility of your form and the fragility of my destiny,
Parallel and unsynchronised
Glowing heat, a testament to our memory.

We assimilated our universe:
A breeding void, for our empty chances.
Science conquers all with completeness-
We engorge our knowledge. But our hopes are starved.
Our tongues dry from accomplishments
We chose ourselves. Now culture
Plays God - we wallow
In insipid insecurities
Of comings and goings. Can
A world unmade
Be reborn?

And so we look back, up at these stars. Ancient legends told anew.
This small step

Section I: Aladdin Benali, Joshua Rampton
Section II: Robert Bendell, Alistair Gray
Section III: Lydia Brown Isabel Mackay
Section IV: Thomas Brett, Matthew Peacock
Section V: Mun-Roop Gill, Molly Cranston, Taylor Richardson
Section VI: Tom Harper, Gregory Walton-Green

“The event was the Sixth Form’s contribution to National Poetry Day, in which 13 pupils took part in a poetry workshop. The task was to create a linked poem on the National Poetry Day’s theme of ‘Stars’, all in under two hours. Divided into poetry teams, they took inspiration from ee cummings, Einstein, Iain Banks, the film 2001 and, of course, the Moon landings, especially the first in 1969. After much fevered work, a new poem emerged, entitled ‘Out of the void…and then?’ Congratulations to all involved, and particular thanks to Mrs Kirby who inspired the event, and Mr Richardson, who helped guide and shape the finished piece.”

and A Universe From Nothing by Sampad Sengupta

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