Sunday, February 14, 2010
A Comet is an Ancient Fear
This long-haired star ruined men and nations;
Drove women mad; deformed children;
Filled all the world with perturbations.
It was the thick smoke of human sin
Burnt before the face of God;
Or the flash of the Devil's grin.
When Halley said this dirty clod
Of ice would always reappear
On its astral promenade,
The comet's nature wasn't clear.
Even science, blessed with observation,
Found poison in the comet's rear.
A comet is an ancient fear,
A remnant of creation,
Trapped by the presence of a star
In eccentric isolation.
Second Place in the Financial Times "Sky Paths" literary competition, 1986