"After Copernicus": a new poem by Olivia Byard

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After such a hellish catastrophe,
what happens to the angels?
Do they tumble down thrones
and dominions like bankers
from tall windows?
           Or, wings torn,
limp along uncertain pathways
as this new-wrangled globe weaves
and roils its anarchist path
around the heavens?
                        Chain
arms and legs akimbo
to smashed-up choirs, deny
change like sleepy country squires –
insist sheer grit and backbone
will slow, or even stop
the world’s new feckless,
wayward spin.
            Or, in time, reconcile,
become commoners like
us, roam wild gardens among
dandelions and feverfew –
                          send texts
in the vernacular; flash
brief flame and gossamer
under faded jeans and sneakers.
           Assay once more
with trembling hands
those homely old halos.

 

Olivia Byard has published two books of poetry.
Her third, The Wilding Eye: New and Selected Poems,
will be published by Worple Press in 2015.

This article appears in the 06 November 2014 issue of the New Statesman, Running out of Time