Black thin enough to starve your lungs
and make saliva boil is all there is:
in portals, panels and behind
your seat. You watch the planet rise,
come into view, an iridescent
beacon-call, a lifting ball.
Earthrise from above, a view
to die for, a palette urging you
to dip a brush in it, the ochre
smudges of dust as Earth-winds whip
it up like a Dyson sucking sand
into the cobalt stratosphere
that spreads like smoke across the sea.
You turn to look away and black
immerses you again, like death will.
What else is there for you to fear?
Its comforting from here to know
your particles will blow like dust
around a globe so beautiful,
that when your consciousness goes out
at least it will be held in trust
a moment by the planet's grace.
What more to wish for, Little One?
When, all alone and spinning in
distress or panic, think of this:
your molecules cohering in
a stable state and when you age
and finally disintegrate,
imagine how you will be held
by this our planet seen from space.
Born in 1955 in Julian has had 4 collections of poetry published since 2002 when his
first, Crossing the Outskirts appeared from Anvil Press: Orphan Sites (2006) and
Planet-Struck (2011) all from Anvil and recently, Desolate Market (2018) from
Carcanet. He lives in Otley, West Yorkshire and works as a counsellor.