Jun 28, 2011

Allegory of the Planetarium

Written by Stephen Harvey

Read by Maryann Corbett

A round projector pulses light
Across the ceiling like a strobe,
A little star itself at night
And during the day a little globe

Beside our chairs. The stars look near
Enough to touch because they are—
A welcome change. When they appear,
I try to count them, star by star,

Just as Abraham must have done,
Imagining his promised line.
If there’s a star for everyone,
I’d like to think he counted mine,

Implausible as it may seem.
We settle back and contemplate
The equally unlikely scheme
Of stardust orchestrating fate,

Then stagger from the matinee
Like Plato climbing from his cave
Into the strangeness of today
Left waiting outside in the wave

Of heat arisen from our star,
As space and time now interweave
To find us standing where we are,
The hardest notion to believe.