Aug 26 2012 12:36pm


(For Neil Armstrong)

In her white silent place, the hangings dust,
grey pebbles stretching to the edge of black
so far away. The goddess feels a lack
somewhere elsewhere, an ache deep as her crust

and weeps dry tears. The gentleman is gone
the first who ever called. His feet were light
as he danced on her. Went into the night
quite soon, his calling and his mission done

yet still his marks remain. Footfalls and flag.
The others she forgets. He was the first
to slake her ages long and lonely thirst
for suitors. Now she feels the years drag

as they did not before he came to call.
Our grief compared to hers weighs naught at all.

Roz Kaveney's novel Rhapsody of Blood: Rituals is just out from Plus One Press. Next month, A Midsummer Night's Press will publish two poetry collections, Dialectic of the Flesh and What If What's Imagined Were All True.

Elise Matthesen
1. LionessElise
God, Roz, that's beautiful. Fitting. Very fitting.
3. justlila

Weeping at my desk.
4. Darkemeralds
What @justlila said.

Extremely moving.
5. BobSchroeder
That is beautiful.
6. Angiportus
Lyrical, finely crafted, but...creepy.
Isn't anyone else creeped out by the image of a passive, helpless being having such gratitude for an unsolicited intrusion and then forever missing it? How typical of this culture that such a role falls on an entity assigned a feminine gender. It's one of the things I read sf to escape from.
I'd had a bellyful of people putting gender on inanimates when I was 6. As I grew up and learned what gender roles entail here, it only got worse.
I wasn't expecting to find it here, though I am usually grateful for the variety of thought and style on this blog.
Also the idea that only the first whatever counts is questionable; it makes the accomplishments of later people (of any gender) seem insignificant. If one must ascribe feelings to inanimate objects, can't they be something a bit new, while still honoring a brave and accomplished human being?
Keep printing poems, even the ones that creep me out; they get people thinking.
Brendan O'Neil
7. eulercauchy
Too bad I've seen way too many episodes of Sailor Moon and will now forever think of Neil Armstrong as Tuxedo Mask.
8. mike shupp
That's amazing. I hadn't thought an astronaut's death would be quite the occasion for poetry... but now I think when someone asks for a rationale for spacefaring, this poem will be part of the argument.

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