17 11 2010


Ignoring the tsunami of technology humming behind her,

The chaos of cameras, computers and calculators

Covering the walls, she shuts her eyes and smiles.

This isn’t what she imagined as a girl.

In all those classroom daydreams she always saw herself

Looking down – or up – at the world from high above – or below –

Beside a plate-sized portal, straining to glimpse

Some small portion of the planet spinning silently beyond

The scratched and fingerprint-smeared glass, unable to see

More than mere hints of the colours, shadows and shapes

Shown in all the books and magazines…


But this


Earth is there… everywhere

A ball of burning blue close enough to touch.

Painted on the heavens in all its Van Gogh glory

It fills the sky, overflows her sight,

A startling Stargate of colour in an ocean of emptiness.

Even with her eyes closed she still sees its azure glow,

Feels its sapphire shades blazing in the ink-black night.

In the work-day-over darkness, Earthlight

Washes her face like cool rain as painfully beautiful

Whirls and whorls of milk-white cloud swirl

O’er the world below and she knows, in her aching

Heart, that long after she has returned to Terra,

To walk barefoot on its dew-drenched grass and

Splash in its ocean’s surging surf a part of her

Will always be here, at this window, gazing down

Upon the Earth.


© Stuart Atkinson 2010

Note: this poem was inspired by a picture taken by a NASA shuttle astronaut. You can see the picture, and read about its story, here:  And my “poster” version of this poem, incorporating the picture, can be found here.



One response

17 07 2012
And today, through the round window…Earth. « Stowell's Cosmology

[…] and Mars maven, wrote a poem on the topic of this particular view from the office window. It’s here. Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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