When I See the Breaking Sun
The moon drifts off the starboard bow,
Floating past us in the eternal night.
We've a minute to the crest of Solgaia,
Where it looks as if the solar maelstrom
Rises above the subtle circumference
Of gaian seas and homeland soil;
Rises like our windless vessel
From the faces I'll remember.
And when I see the breaking sun
Shine yellow on the skies beneath us,
Our ship will turn to sail upon the beams,
Crossing the unburdened span of ether
That silently holds our scattered gravel,
Crossing to where I shall walk new earth
Made wet with trails of my terran salt
Down the faces I'll remember.
About the Poem
In an unfortunate coincidence, I wrote this poem in the weeks prior to the explosion which claimed the crew of the space shuttle Challenger. This poem is dedicated to the Challenger crew.
The words contemplate the emotions of a traveler who is leaving Earth, perhaps as an explorer or colonist. Like those who pushed the frontier in the New World, this pioneer doesn't expect to return to this gentle home.
This poem originally published in All The Devils Are Here (1986, Unnameable Press).