Neowise, the Comet

Chris Dahl


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Because it goes on, over and over, you can never say

you’re halfway there.  Six thousand, seven hundred years

then swinging back to the cold.  Then once more


toward the brilliance of solar flames.  The last time

you came by, earth was a dark planet at night, but what

an unmannerly mob the monkeys have turned out to be


with brains given to the immediate.  And already

you’ve left behind flares, faerie fires, green oak masks.

What god would you worship when so little of your attention


is focused on an interior life?  Perhaps existence is

an elaborate dance, the sound of radiation bouncing

between galaxies. The infinite cat’s cradle of buzzing lines


might not be as random as they seem—and space

is not as glamorous as it appears from a distance.

You suspect consciousness is over-rated.  If only


you could be sure that your glittering is not just someone

else’s light reflecting from your outer shell.  Even with

its diminishments, you live for those few moments of fire.

Chris Dahl

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Chris Dahl cups handfuls of murky pond water, examining another world half-hidden in this one. Her chapbook, Mrs Dahl in the Season of Cub Scouts won Still Waters Press’s “Women’s Words” competition. Extensively published, she also serves on the Olympia Poetry Network board and edits their newsletter.


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