Clay F. Johnson

Writer | Poet | Pianist | sometime Alpinist | hopeless Romanticist

Frozen Starlight

Frozen Starlight


This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

—David Bowie, “Space Oddity”


Floating above, far above,
Beyond the moon, the stars,
The system of dust and black—
Black but with silver-sapphire—
Where all is empty and dark,
A lonely dark, floating
Lost and silent among
The beauty of nothingness


            The reflection in my star-mirrored eyes

Paints a picture of light-illusioned lies

The nearest star is now dead—
A nebula-cloud of white
Opal—crystalized, frosted
With a luminous glow like
Gossamer wisps in moonlight,
As if a long-forgotten
Spider waits impatiently
In the cold and lonely dark


            From my scope it appears as frozen snow

                        From Earth we saw a star of pale white glow


The planetary system,
The last and only hope,
Is now nothing but faery-
Swirls of glittering stardust,
Shadowy trails of white gems,
Pale luminescent pearls
Reflecting deep sapphires
And jade-opals of lucent green


A month has passed in space-time—
The feel and slow demise of
Long-forgotten memories—
Yet, back on Earth, fast-aging,
Time has taken centuries,
Stealing unremembered years
From the ageless star-finder
Unable to return home


            Ten months more I’ll yield to this endless night

                        Consumed by a cloud of frozen starlight


But nothing waits for me
In the lonely dark, nothing
Watches me in the silent
Nothingness of empty space—
Nothing but the spectral gaze
Of shards from a dead star,
Dead like all my memories,
And dead like my cold circuits.

© 2019 Clay F. Johnson