'Winter Star Shower' ~ ©peterwilkin
‘The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit’ ~ ‘Ulysses’, James Joyce
Under the icy light of a switched-on moon
yesterday’s snow crunched like sugar
as we gazed upon touchless stars,
tasted their carbon, their iron
melting on our tongues.
You wanted to give them something -
an oblation - but all you could find
in the shadowed garden was a rusted lamp
that you offered up to every flimmering sphere
of plasma in that far-flung, gas blown space.
Heart-shook, I confessed to feeling less than you.
You smiled and said you could see star-threads
connecting me to all the constellations.
Glancing heavenwards I caught sight
of a rose-pink glow centred in Cassiopeia’s breast:
a nipple stiffened in a blush of humility.
Tipped in her throne she showed no rancour
as the flow of her milky light nourished me.
Lush with astral sugar I began to drag down
all those luminous, spinning orbs.
You grabbed a flowerpot and dashed round
like a whitefaced clown, catching them
as they tumbled ... and all the merry dancers
sashayed across the blue vault
as your breath spilled out in brumes of argentine.