Poetry Pause x Poetry in Union: Maureen Hynes – Luminosity

Poem author: Maureen Hynes Poem title: Luminosity Poem: By the time we look up we might have lost enough star power to end a small war on Earth. Frittering my gaze. All those Mediterranean gods & goddesses, says my Norwegian friend, they were so active. Banished for their sins into the galaxy’s outer coldness, generating just enough lumens to teach us a few lessons – how to endure, how to be present & sparkle, to hide when we need to, to extend our love through space, across time. Ah those nymphs & monsters, their abductions & infidelities. Their beam energy. Remembering that tented night in Zimbabwe when all I could think was diamonds, black velvet, shuddering at my own persistent clichés. Then that moment— a hyena visiting the campground’s rim took a quick dog-look at us & then loped off starwards for other prey. His sparing us brought me close to our impermanence— sudden chance can kill, but not cast us into the stars. Couldn’t we measure our lives in lumens? I’d be happy to have, on a scale from one to six, anything brighter than the second magnitude. End of Poem. Copyright © Maureen Hynes Originally appeared in Sotto Voce (Brick Books, 2019). Maureen Hynes’s first book of poetry, Rough Skin, won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. Her 2016 collection, The Poison Colour, was shortlisted in 2016 for both the Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster Awards. Maureen’s fifth book of poetry, Sotto Voce, came out from Brick Books in fall, 2019. Her poetry has been included in over 25 anthologies, including twice in Best Canadian Poems in English, and in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, 2017. Maureen is poetry editor for Our Times magazine. Maureenhynes.com