Halley's CometBehold, a marvel in the darkness, like
A thief attempting to escape its tether,
Dragging it across the blackened void.
An unwilling fellow traveler, it streams
Behind, exposing its quarry as the beam
Of starlight shows the stone and ice alloyed
And locked in cold and tight embrace
To hold until time's final hour will strike.

That glowing trail! Those icy embers shout
As loud as any brazen siren can—
Unwanted conscience, and connected fast,
It tells us that the present's tied to the past.
And if our present shows no thinking plan,
Our past reviewed may sort the matter out.

Copyright © 2008, Richard St. Clair

Image Credit: NASA/W. Liller

Richard St. Clair's career as a poet began the same time as his career as a classical composer, in the early 1960s. Although he has 3 degrees in music from Harvard and his music has been performed widely in North America, he still considers himself a poet. His poetry has been or will be published in Hidden Oak, The Journal, Modern Haiku, and Poetic Hours among others. He has been a lifelong enthusiast of astronomy as well as "space fiction." His recent sonnet, "Halley's Vision," was inspired by an episode of the television series Star Trek. He resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.