Vision in Far Infrared
Considering the implications of dust and cold gas, the expanding
universe and cryostats, I climb the stairs and shiver.
Thermal infrared may propagate in a vacuum, but we require
oxygen and warmth. Pillows and a sense of humor help, too.
What will come of the images captured by the Herschel telescope
in the next eon and those following? These maelstroms, blossoming.
I look up from my front porch and see the streetlight’s glare
rather than stars. Yesterday, lizards coupled on my shack’s wall.
Nebulosity in vision, in politics. Look through this eyepiece to find
horseheads and archers, bright flames and clouds. Or nothing.
Red and yellow filaments could indicate newly forming low-mass
stars. The visible is only one component of perception.
Hubble observes in multiple spectra, but not the far infrared.
Even the long-reaching may be overcome by inadequacies.
Do not forget the body’s warmth. Remember black lights and purpose,
the tangible thought. Recall that we exist at rest, ever in motion.
* * *
“Vision in Far Infrared” was drafted during the August 2016 Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge. I am grateful to Angela for sponsoring the poem and providing the title and these three words: nebulosity, eon, maelstrom.