Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry

Paradox of Return

The tilt of the earth
is 23 ½ degrees
It is fixed in space
but it whirls.
We don't change
but we will.
The axis is always
parallel to itself
as it leans to
and turns from the sun.
I push and you pull
but no one has won.
Summer dawns
simultaneous to winter
Night never rises
as day never sets.
When you awaken,
I am sleeping.
The fate of the globe
is an ellipses
one solstice never more than
5 million kilometers from another.
Opposites cannot exist
without each other.
The procession of time
is an imperfect circle
What falls back springs forward
and ends where it started.
If you wait for it to right itself
you'll wait forever.
Twice a revolution
the gift of light is everywhere equal
Exactly twice there is balance
in the tides of the year.
What we push away
we can draw near.
As the world turns, once daily
by right of paradox
tomorrow and yesterday
are everywhere the same.
What we have ended
we can begin again.

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The Setting of the Sun Over the Pacific Ocean and a Towering Thundercloud, July 21, 2003, As Seen From the International Space Station (Expedition 7)

Credit: Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center

Shannon Connor Winward's writing has appeared in many venues including: Pedestal Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Illumen, This Modern Writer [Pank Magazine], Hip Mama Zine and the anthologies Twisted Fairy Tales: Volume Two (Wicked East Press), Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy (Raven Electrik Ink) and Spec-tacular: Fantasy Favorites from Raven Electrick Ink. Her poem "All Souls' Day" is nominated for a 2012 Rhysling Award. To read her accounts of writing, witchery, mommyhood, and general sassiness, stop by her blog at