November 4, 2015

One poem by David W. Landrum

DECEMBER 24, 1968

We had not imagined swirls:
white clouds like fingers
angel wings and doves
whirlpools of thick mist
sea a living azure
not dead
but lighted sapphire
warm life-bearing flow
water contiguous
with cloud
nor had we thought
we would see swaths of brown
that indicated land
no bright star
no globe set out in space
a living thing
a goddess ringed
with vortexes of white
eddies and currents
peeked above the swath
of barren moon
earth's blue white brown
in a picture frame of dark

Note: On December 24, 1968, the crew of Apollo 8, the second human spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, sent back a photograph of Earth as seen from their obit around the moon. Up to that point no one had seen the Earth as it looked in space. Those, like me, who saw this revelatory photograph were amazed at the sight—and, most of all, at the beauty and delicacy of the planet on which we live.

David W. Landrum’s poetry has been published, most recently, in Angle, Windhover, Antiphon, Measure, and The Literary Bohemian. He teaches English at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

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