Journey to Embarkation

Journey to Embarkation
My first book of poetry. Cover image by David Noah, Winterville, Georgia.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last November Sunset

Glade Farmhouse, Georgia
November 30, 2002; revised December 2015

The last November sunset 
darkens to shadows 
on the stubble horizon 

when off a distant ridge, December 
wind clears warmth 
from a once promising day

and the heart of a hundred billion 
suns smears cold 
light across velvet silence. 

A spare beauty bears the hint 
of primal heat 
through widening gulfs 

to fallow souls rooted in lost time 
waiting for winter 
to spring new seed from sweet decline.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

From the Deck of the New Horizons

Athens, Georgia
February 7, 2016

I have been here before, swept 
to the stars by an artist’s rendition 
bound in my childhood Book 
of Knowledge. Lost in the pages 

on Pluto, I stood on a cracked 
and frozen plain where Sol is 
but the brightest star whose light 
is hours old. From eternal 

twilight I turned my back 
to the sun-bathed Earth, seared 
by the ancient, wandering call, 
set off to inhabit infinity. 


On a farther end of forever 
I find myself as in a dream 
sailing shotgun on a spacecraft 
the size of a grand piano 
at the climax of a nine-year fling 
approaching the double-dwarf 
planetoid world which waltzes 
with Charon face to face 
on a multi-century solar swing 
in two/three time with Neptune. 


I fly by the moons of Hydra and Styx 
the realm of Kerberos and Nix 

dodging the darkened pole of Charon 
covered with cryo-geyser debris 

I shoot past the methane plains of Pluto 
over the frozen Sputnik Planum 

above the Virgil Fossa Canyon 
land where ice volcanos flow.

I see a strangely familiar world — 
a touch of haze in the light blue sky 

as warm days climb to fifty-three Kelvin
across the fields of crystallized nitrogen 

mountains of ice as high as the Rockies 
dusted with hydrocarbon snow.


I have been here before, swept 
aloft to far-off worlds. Now 
I gaze behind to a sun-bathed 
youth lost in a dream that could 

never come close to riding 
the deck of the New Horizons 
Pluto in the rear-view mirror 
universe ahead.

Photo by NASA
/ Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
/ Southwest Research Institute