Far behind now: blue-white world,
Waterworld, world of feathered clouds and
Oceans deep, steep, snow-capped mountains
And deserts of powdered amber.
Ahead, above, beneath, all around: blackness,
Ebony abyss studded with sequin stars
Bisected by mottled vapour trail – the
Sun-frothed spine of the Milky Way.
A year of nothing. Waiting. Watching
The dark get darker as Earth’s glow
Slowly fades o’er my shoulder.
Ahead: a glint of gold.
A yellow grain among the dust.
A yellow peppercorn now, how bright
It seems against the void.
A butterscotch-hued bead now,
Sewn onto the star-embroidered cloak
What a sight suddenly! A marble
Now, dipped in caramel
With toffee whirls and honey swirls
Streaked across its face.
I rush on silently, imagining
Stars streaking past in Enterprise style,
Hearing the solar wind howling in my ears
As I close in on –
A tiger-striped ball now, fat with cloud,
Bloated and branded with auburn bands
And strands of coffee-coloured haze
Dotted with cinnamon spots –
And still it grows…
© Stuart Atkinson 2007