Two Poems – John Grey

John Grey

Through the Telescope

Above me, patterns preserve
the need for vision,
advance the psychology of those
who, eye against lens,
give something back to mystery.

Crab Nebula, Andromeda,
the names are like fancy’s calling cards,
not the tyranny of distance
but its clusters, its stellar end points,
its pillars of creation.

In my notebook,
I chart the remnants of the past,
the voyage of the future,
try to fathom their bond
from models and numbers
and a dream as old as childhood.

Here in the night,
my mind aligns with constellations,
comets, asteroids,
a blaze from long ago
that sets this moment now alight.

Yes, I have eternity for company
as I train metal and glass
on countless bodies in space,
address immensity in quiet moments,
remind myself that my mind also
is a universe,
that the farthest galaxy and my mortal brain
are siblings without rivalry.

The universe speaks in whispers
but I hear.
It acts out drama light years hence
and I see.
It’s a miracle.
As long as I keep watch,
as long as I imagine,
so am I.


Flying Solo

there is such a thing
as sleep out here
even if it’s always night

and finding something
to read in bed
is not a problem –

not a bed really,
just my seat extended
and flattened –

but I have access
to every book,
every magazine,
every newspaper,
on the one nightstand disk –

sometimes I doze
to Dickens,
or the funny pages
from the Chicago Sun Times –

that’s why dreams
return to Earth
much faster than this ship
ever could –

I’m alone in space
but not in the space
inside my head.

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