To mark the rare astronomical event happening today, here’s a poem. “Transits of Venus” appeared in my first poetry collection, Time Travels Light.
Transits of Venus
Vancouver airport. I have crossed this space before
leaving lovers – a small planet moving slowly
over a vast and polished floor, circled by strangers.
Beyond the lounge window, gray skies, gray tarmac.
Straight, white, painted lines plane off across
the wide-winged delta and intersect the arc
of the horizon. I watch a train of luggage carts
cut a tangent towards me, towed through a bubble
of silence – sound severed from me by glass –
and think of moon buggies, vehicles designed
to cross the surface of a satellite, exploring flat
gray plains, Mare Oscularum, Mare Incognita.
I am exploring the thought of leaving you –
you the men who stayed there on the Island,
you, the men who left on flights back east.
Transits of Venus occur perhaps too often
in my life. The inner planets, small separate
circles, cross the blazing surface of the sun
and then separate, depart to shine alone,
the wandering ones together only for a time,
contained by the bright circumference of love.