Cosmic Microwave Background

by M. Alexander Turner

               Stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-
               million-year-old light. A vast pattern. 

                                                                           —Richard Feynman


Against the bright sea, the heave of lightyears
tugs at Earth's cuff and its milky gloss.

Pulling eddy from stream, the dimwork blindly parts
the weeds, broadening the empty meadow.


Toward the quiet waves,—where small light still sings
the psalm of the First World, a song of the most natural branch;

like the Narrow, this place was tightly timbered,
yet then unread to sundering—a tree meets the sky.


On the trunk, the length between pin-knots drags longer
through the thick sink of years:—parting flecks like raisins in the loaf.


The hidden bridge calls by footclack
fish to feed. The tenor of wood.

A cord of jet black
tied round a pier.

The herons briefly rest on an island
on the water further from the bridge.

A tide of keeping;
a tide of parting.

Our glad grey sky keeps the oldest light,
and parts except for the sound of weight.


The hawthorn raises the byway with red shoulders:
haw (it is August) each kirtled in a rub of dry pith.


The herons fly west, falling over sky.
Each bears its own weight to fall.

The emptying western road, lit by a starlight
background, ringing in a new orange.


The broken flecks of the oldest light (the firey stound)
cannot be knit again by the palm & needle of weight.

That kind light, whose fainting shadow still drifts
to us, this wandering blue widow.

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