Friday, September 11, 2009

the sun does shine on the dark side of the moon (Friday's Sunday's Poem 32)

Forgotten Planet

by Doug Dorph

I ask my daughter to name the planets.
"Venus ...Mars ...and Plunis!" she says.
When I was six or seven my father
woke me in the middle of the night.
We went down to the playground and lay
on our backs on the concrete looking up
for the meteors the tv said would shower.

I don't remember any meteors. I remember
my back pressed to the planet Earth,
my father's bulk like gravity next to me,
the occasional rumble from his throat,
the apartment buildings dark-windowed,
the sky close enough to poke with my finger.

Now, knowledge erodes wonder.
The niggling voce reminds me that the sun
does shine on the dark side of the moon.
My daughter's ignorance is my bliss.
Through her eyes I spy like a voyeur.

I travel in a rocket ship to the planet Plunis.
On Plunis I no longer long for the past.
On Plunis there are actual surprises.
On Plunis I am happy.

A long time ago, when Sweetie and I lived in an apartment, I went out to look at the Perseid meteor showers. I set my alarm and got up at 2 a.m., when they were supposed to be the best. I walked over to the park, which I thought might be dim enough to give me a better view of the meteor showers. I didn't want to head all the way out of the city, I just wanted to see meteor showers, at least once in my life. I waited about 20-30 minutes, and never saw even a single shooting star. I've never seen a meteor shower, putting them on a list with the green flash and tidal pools, a list of natural wonders I've never seen and suspect don't really exist. On the other hand, I have seen the northern lights, and I did see both Comet Hyakutake and Comet Hale-Bopp. So I haven't totally missed out on those kinds of things.

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