The Astronomer

Up at the top of the house he is reading the skies.

 

Universes of time expand before his observing eyes.

 

Distances of mysterious dark twist in unimaginable ways

 

as cosmos and consciousness dance before the astronomer’s gaze.

 

 

All time and all being extend beyond his ephemeral skin

 

to mirror the marvellous cosmos receding within

 

where his infinitesimal particles yield to the microscope’s wonder

 

and solid material finds itself blasted asunder.

 

 

Without and without, ever outward, within and within,

 

beyond the size of a sun, contained in the tip of a pin.

 

Outward and outward, inward and inward, and balanced between

 

is the place the astronomer sits to see what can be seen.  

 

Note   This poem expresses ideas about macrocosm and microcosm, about all that lies out there beyond, outside of, our skin: all that which is not us. And then all that lies within us, inside our bodies, reaching down to microbiological levels, and yet further to the levels of subatomic particles. In either direction, as our minds travel,  they eventually find themselves in mystical zones, where science, imagination and magic merge. The astronomer, looking out at the cosmos, yet aware of the physical, sensory apparatus he uses to do this with, is in the same position as all of us, balanced between the immensely vast and the minutely small. The poem with that metaphor reaches toward the relativity of all being. And it places us in the universe we must temporarily occupy, in the absence of any ultimate truth.