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Poem: Star

06 January 2022

An Epiphany poem by John Nightingale


We couldn’t see it during windy days

When swelling clouds were scudding past the moon,

Nor in the glare of noontide sunlight rays

When lengthy staring hurt and made us swoon.

We had to wait until our world was dark

And clear, when we were on our own,

Could count the stars, and from that counting mark

The star whose movement pattern stood alone.

I was the first to notice something strange

And told it to the others. They were scared

Of all the traps the authorities arrange

Lest we resist their narrative declared.

An optical illusion it might be,

An electronic blip of background noise,

A rogue result which scientists won’t see

Lest any talk of miracle annoys

The gov’ning powers. So then we went to pack,

But not before we’d had our data stored

On a secure website, impossible to hack,

As evidence to have our critics floored.

The journey wasn’t easy, for the road

Was long and hard, and sometimes petered out.

The star could flicker if a tempest blowed,

Confusing us so that we turned about.

At other times the guiding light shone clear

The way we had to go was all too plain

To us, and to our foes; such was our fear,

That they would steal a march on us again.

We sought to keep a secret what we’d find

So we could gain a first exclusive use

Of it, and, if its owners did not mind,

We’d keep it hidden to avoid abuse.

But then we realised that what we’d found

Was not a theorem or computer code.

We met a child with family around

And learnt what we, the so-called wise ones, owed:

A loyalty to those the world calls weak,

An openness to whatever they might give,

A sympathy for all the rest who seek

For peace and bread and hope that all may live.

Such was our deviance from the party line,

We had to keep our secret under wraps,

Avoid the guards, the cameras, the whine

Of drones, the unaccountable mishaps

Occurring frequently to people deemed

To be unsound, until we found a place,

An alien land, however one that seemed

Secure enough for us to show our face.

And then we told our story. I am glad

To know that it survives until this day,

And mighty people, be they good or bad,

Cannot the tale erase or hide away:

This star of truth shines bright and will not fade

In disputes now or battles past and gone,

And, spite of plans that cruel tyrants made,

The power of love shone bright and leads us on.


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