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Lay for the Day
12th January

1820: the Royal Astronomical Society is founded.

XIX. The Stars

I’ll liken you to these for being far
Beyond earth’s thin and troubled, spotted skies
As you from me, which to my living eyes
Live in former light, present as you are
Absent. They’re fire that does not smoke nor char
Nor warm, unbrightened by the round-mouthed sighs
They draw. They wrote the code of luck, those spies,
To make a beggar of the maharajah.
Across lacunae learning has me trace
The empty images and ramping creatures
Of our nocturnal knowing. Scattered speech,
Remembered, random visions of your face,
Constellate the void to finite features
And touch me closer, being out of reach.


John Gibbens
from Legacy

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar