Little Lagoon, Denham
A silvery swirl of fish as the descending four-by-four
sweeps its beams across the sea-filled pan. On the shore,
the street-glow and the red lights on the turbines
above the town are out of sight. We look up
at a planisphere, trying to recognise constellations,
but our seeing is compromised by torchlight and a half-moon
bright enough to lay us flat. We can identify only Canopus,
the Southern Cross, and the Centaur’s brightest stars.
With our binoculars, we cannot see the whirls of nebulae
or the cosmic anomalies that hint at universes beyond
our own: anyway, our galactic Santa Maria is far too slow
to shatter the crystal sphere of what we know. When, alone,
we sail across the meridian that differentiates life from dark,
will we learn at last the origin of the cosmos, or merely find
at the edge of our celestial dome – as Truman Burbank did –
steps leading up, and EXIT labelling a flush-fitting door?
*inspired by the film ‘The Truman Show’ Denham is a small town on the coast of Western Australia: the nearby ‘lagoon’ occupied a bowl out of sight of the town, and was ideal for observing the night sky.
Mantz Yorke is a former teacher living in Manchester, England. His work has appeared in the series ‘Best of Manchester Poets’ and in various publications, including the anthology ‘Of Sun and Sand’.