Poetry by Joshua St. Claire
Ghazal at c
This double-slit experiment counts each bead of light.
The wave-function collapses, but whose hand does the deed of light?
Plasma nectar. These swirls of photonic butterflies
on Sirius sweetly sucking the milkweed of light.
At twilight, on Zarmina’s moon, kisses overtake us
as her fireflies emerge in a stampede of light.
Broken-winged sparrow. The asteroids snapping our solar sail.
In the airlock, we kneel together to pray the creed of light.
The bioluminescent tentacles of the performers
from Canopus III dance the “Centipede of Light.”
Big Bang baryogenesis feeds the dandelions.
Planted in primordial hydrogen, the seed of light.
Betelgeuse bellows before the blast but the supernova
shapes a nebula, a planet-seeding tumbleweed of light.
The 10,000 mirrors of Empress Regan focus dim Triton
sunlight onto her milky skin. Her smile drinks this mead of light.
The strange backwardness of these tachyon beings.
They question my answers faster than the speed of light.
The Heat Death of the Universe looming coldly before us,
we men of the last winter—growing desperate—in need of light . . .
Editor’s Note: I hope that Joshua does not mind that I have included an excerpt of the notes that accompanied his poetry submission. I think that they are wonderful, and provide a very nice insight to the poetic process.
– One Last Perfect Night—a SciFi Kasen renku written in collaboration with Jill Trade. To keep things fun, we adhered to a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic structure and complied with as many traditions and rules that we could tolerate. After all, renku is both poetry and a game so a good time should be had by all.
– The Asteroid Miner’s Life—I tried unsuccessfully for several months to write this poem as a pantoum. Then I realized that the tight rhyme scheme and obsessive repetition of a villanelle better portrayed the closed-in life of an asteroid miner and the poem seemed to write itself. The microbe, Sphingomonas desiccabilis, mentioned in this villanelle was tested in space for its suitability in bioconcentrating the rare earths (“Lanthanides”) in low gravity environments. Here is a link to an article about it: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19276-w . Luckily, it also fit the rhyme scheme nicely.
– Ghazal at c and Ghazal at the end of world—Two tradition ghazals. The fun with ghazals is making the most outlandish rhymes (qaafiyaa) work. So different from contemporary Western formal poetry which often demands end rhyme only be used when it is so natural as to be almost undetectable.
Joshua was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by this publishing house.