A Poem for the Celebration

Carl Sagan’s works have profoundly influenced my life for the better and informed my whole way of thinking. I’m glad he lived.

I’m including a poem inspired in part by “Pale Blue Dot.” This poem uses religious terms – ‘God,’ ‘Hallelujah,’ but they aren’t intended in a literal, theistic sense. They have resonance because of my upbringing and my culture, but one could replace them with similar words from any culture for the same effect. I think, somehow, Mr. Sagan would have liked it. So here’s my contribution.

– John Sisk


In Good Humor

Cold cables carry warm laughter;
Dark night gently cradles bright-eyed lovers on through morning;
The sun rises and the sun sets.

Brave-chested birds, blue like sky-flecks, like star-flecks,
Like chords from God’s guitar, strut and fly like
The shining gossamer of memory through forests
As green as the eyes of meaning:
Islands in the deep Pacific, themselves born
From spurting streams of rock-as-liquid, are
Stone-as-annihilation from some subterranean sea of fire,
That sea itself the hidden, brilliant rind of the world-fruit,
Tossing brief on a lonely limb of the Universe.

What then is the music of our solitary sphere?

The seed sings the tree, the tree
Sings the leaf, and the leaf’s song
Is the flower, that blood-bright jewel
That kisses my eye for an hour
And leaves as Beauty does:
A gloaming hope, a gleaming vision, and –
Gone, leaving only fragrance.
I sing Hallelujah.

Copyright John Sisk 2004.