Looking for meteors, 2017
We reach the park gate before sunset
and drive the winding road
climbing 4000 feet above sea level.
This is an isolated mountain
– a wide view all around.
Facebook, the news and the warm evening
have brought in the crowds –
parking is tricky.
We rush out and up the steps
to catch the sunset
high above the lights
of towns and highways.
The orange and crimson western sky
hoping for a firework show
The sun drops low
and the mountain’s shadow
like a spectre
stands on the rising fog
and vanishes as the sun sets
and yes, it photgraphs just fine!
The sky darkens as daylight fades
faint stars shine brighter.
We make out constellations
Scorpio’s claws and curving sting
Sagittarius with its teapot shape
leading us to the glow of the milky way.
The Big Dipper and Casseopeia
are old friends.
The red summit lamp punctuates the darkness
with its rhythmic beam.
Oohs and ahs rise
as a few meteors
fall through the sky.
Perseids – particles of Swift Tuttle
crossing our earth’s orbit.
I see two in the hour or so,
good ones, with trails.
Three times I miss one
you have to luck out with your field of vision.
11pm, we must leave
hooking on to the red lights
snaking out of the park
and back along the quietened highway.
The bright waning moon lights the sky.
Next morning as we eat breakfast
the moon hangs in the clear sky,
pomegranates ripen on a tree,
a lone humming bird flits by,
a silver plane high above the moon
leaves a trail
stars in our eyes changed to
sunlight, blue sky, green trees and warmth.