Outward, Through the Inner Worlds

Out of death, the journey from core to edge,
vast center, toward the night of giants.

1. Sol
He looked into the sun, watched the roar of atoms,
and when he turned away his eyes were white,
icy diamonds, and his profile was a vast eclipse.

2. Mercury
Forgotten, the sound of voices.
Instead, the peace of desires burned away.
Turn from the sun, look out.
Black falls into black, and blindness is welcome.
I have hurt too many, and now I want to touch
the surface of a sphere; seared and frozen, lifeless,
rolling, slave of the sun, which burns my back
as I pass the tortured face
of a child chained too close.

3. Venus
Moonless and seething with liquid heat.
I would like to lie on that ravaged surface;
feel the appalling pressure. Poison air, crushing.
I will stay until a vision of touching her
beneath the waves of an imagined sea
becomes the same as my presence,
spread-eagled, face up
under her blanket of chemical rain.

4. Earth
Blue eye, calling me to remembrance.
Blue eye, accuse me all you like.
I'll pass.
Red Death is next.

5. Mars
Brother to the House of Prospero.
Ruddy with age and silence.
You were alive once, wet, and fierce.
The winds still roar at your towering heights
and in the low places of your cracked skin.
Pounded with violence that bears no malice.
Then waiting, unhurried,
for the ancient scars to fade.

—Malcolm Deeley