Star Songs

Along the dark street the group moves sporadically -

talking earnestly together - gesticulating - laughing.

A wry comment bares bone.

Excited, I toss back my head,

Caught up in the argument, eager to temper the point.


The brilliant stars snap me off-guard.

Arrested, I pause, the rejoinder forgotten.

The stars are magnificent!

I have never seen so many - so close - so aggressive.

My hot mind jumps frenetic with information.


The stars are disturbing.

Strangely unsettled by their boldness

I scan the confusion of constellations anxiously.

I need a resting place;

I am vibrating.


The stars mock my shrinking eyes.

Quickly now, nervously, I search through the mass.

At last, focussed, the Big Dipper looks back.

My heart smiles: in the frantic galaxies a friend!

Warmth - delight - (and I chuckle) - security.


My foolishness is ludicrous.

Leering at me, ridiculing Fantasy,

Analysis rears its probing nose scornfully.

Conspiratorially, winking at the tippy Dipper,

I shove Knowledge into an Iron Box and solder the lid.


Across the sky a flare streaks briefly, and another.

Shooting stars! My breath catches.

Balefully I glare at the Iron Box, but it doesn’t rattle.

Wide-eyed I encompass the dazzling midnight,

responsive to the pulsing stars.


Suddenly, Nonsense is shattered.

I expand to the cosmos - expand - and expand.


I feel motion.

I shall implode with infinity.


 With a fearsome ecstasy I know galaxies are whizzing

through space; atoms are spinning in me.

The universe pounds into me.

My body is an unbearable prison.

With compelling energy the stars call. They reach for me.


A terrible tuition nearly dissolves my mind.

I can answer!

Frightened almost witless I jabber at sanity:

“I have a body. I have a soul. They are me!

Do I dare to divide them - capriciously?


Violently, my soul tugs for freedom.

Now that I know, I cannot deny its right.

“Go, then,” I cry out, “but please -please come back.

I will be nothing without you - an empty shell.

They will say I am dead.”


With horrible awe I watch my spirit leave me,

like a wisp of cellophane on a shining thread.

I see it rising far - far from me,

leaping for the cauldron of creation.

The risk is absolute.


“No! Come back. Come back!”

Turning, my soul clearly regards me.

I can see myself from its great height,

with my arms outstretched,

my fingers twisted in the cord.


I can feel its indecision, its torment,

its overwhelming desire to yank free the tether.

Through my tears I beg, “Please come back.”

The hesitation is incalculable. It comes quickly,

formless and vital back from the glowing sky.


I reach for my spirit and wrap it to me gently,

absorbing it in a closed embrace.

“Dear God!” I cannot stop sobbing or shaking.

Around me my friends clamour, “Are you all right?

What happened? We were just ahead …”


Carefully, I unlock my trembling arms.

“Yes, I’m fine. I’m all right. I really am”

And then I belie my very words.

I set off running down the midnight street

singing wild arpeggios of star songs.



Cynthia Buell Thomas

◄ The Christmas Tree

The Velvet Conversation ►


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Laura Taylor

Wed 19th Aug 2015 09:36

This gave me delicious shivers, laced through with terror and awe. Wonderful writing Cynth - you've captured so perfectly that truly staggering epiphany that really does shake our realities every now and again.

I think I only joined WOL around about the first time this was posted, and was in no way ready to comment on people's poems! It's great to revisit old ones, and obviously you performed this last night. I'd have loved to have heard it.

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Darren Lea-grime

Tue 18th Aug 2015 23:08

loved hearing this at sale tonight, the written word just lacks your fantastic voice and delivery, love it


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Darren Lea-grime

Tue 18th Aug 2015 23:08

loved hearing this at sale tonight, the written word just lacks your fantastic voice and delivery


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jane wilcock

Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:30

A great story, perhaps the stars are all souls and the vaccum full of chatter!

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Steve Regan

Sat 19th Dec 2009 23:09

A long poem is difficult to read off the internet (as opposed to off the printed page) but then large themes - such as the stars, which have fascinated poets, mystics and philosophers since the dawn of human existence - are worthy of long pieces.

Cynthia, this is a great poem, spiritually charged and written with appropriate passion.

I gazed at the starts the other night in the garden of a hotel in Chester. I saw their majesty, and the hope they offer to humanity at this downbeat time in Earth's history, and I too was filled with awe - and with resentment that we can no longer see them properly in the over-populated, light-polluted territories where most of us reside.

The world is full of cynicism, and the poetic community is heavily afflicted by pretension and clunky (failed) attempts to be clever.

But you have taken a big theme here and delivered on it poetically, describing beautifully a powerful epiphany. All power to you.

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Fri 18th Dec 2009 21:01

Incredibly beautiful Cynthia.

Powerful lines:
'With a fearsome ecstasy I know galaxies are whizzing
Through space; atoms are spinning in me.
The universe pounds into me.
My body is an unbearable prison.
With compelling energy the stars call. They reach for me.'

<Deleted User> (7073)

Fri 18th Dec 2009 20:09

Cynthia, words just fail me to describe this wonderful piece, but I will try, it makes my spirit soar. I wish I could have written this.

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Horace Thespider

Fri 18th Dec 2009 18:30

Thanks for your continuing encouragement.
I have read Star Songs briefly, but it is is so rich that I will have to print it out and digest it. I will get back to you.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Fri 18th Dec 2009 17:06

Thanks to Dave B. and Starlight for encouragement.

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