Another transit of Venus

June 5th, 2012

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.

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