Maybe We Are Alone

The sapphire sky above seems endless,
And sometimes we forget
The vast that lies beyond.
The atmosphere, a fragile film,
The skin upon our pond.

Lying still with open eyes,
In dark and windless nights
We listen to the silence.
Our earth is flinging through a void
Of blackness, cold and violence.

Out there, we feel, we sense, some place,
Gentle, warm, like here,
Too far to contemplate.
A people there may also feel
Alone to face their fate.

Are they just one more shining point
Of glittering millions sprinkled
Through the universe?
A fabric of emerging life,
The cosmos as it’s nurse?

We free our minds, and theorise,
We do some maths and, yes,
There must be many more?
It could be true, and yet we know,
We cannot be so sure.

Colossal space, of fleeting time,
We like to think is home
For others who we’ll find,
A seminal discovery
For all of humankind.

But in our shifting dreams, we change,
We wonder whether we
Could be here on our own.
In fathomless space, we could really be
One light, of life, alone.

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Swept Away

I sometimes feel
Swept away in a river,
Arms flailing, trying to stay afloat,
Drawn down and away
From the bank
Where soft grasses
And small flowers
Drift past, as my body passes
Rolling gently,
Impotent in its inundating powers.

I cannot see.
There could be a kindly tree
Dipping a branch where my weak arms could catch it
And clasp, catching my breath,
Ready to climb
Up through the rushes
And fall on the ground.
Or, as evening hushes,
Night sinking,
I may disappear in the widening water without a sound.

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The Bee

(A poem from childhood)

A mile from land, a mile at sea, with gently heaving sails,
A yacht sailed on with water trickling underneath the hull,
The water’s glare’s so strong it’s stronger than the sun at sea,
And in that lonely moment, suddenly, was it a gull?
Some wondering thing, a fragment from another world, a bee!
A mile from land, a mile at sea, sky streaming white mares’ tails,
A solemn, melancholy bee that followed unknown trails.