Entry #26 – Vancouver Lights

Last modified on July 25th, 2009

Years ago I came across a poem called “Vancouver Lights” that I really enjoyed. Since I’ve down a few Vancouver centric posts, I thought I would also bit a few bits of Vancouver literature up as well. So without further ado, here is “Vancouver Lights” by Earle Bidney:

About me the night moonless wimples the mountains
wraps ocean land air and mounting
sucks at the stars The city throbbing below
webs the sable peninsula The golden
strands overleap the seajet by bridge and buoy
vault the shears of the inlet climb the woods
toward me falter and halt Across to the firefly
haze of a ship on the gulps erased horizon
roll the lambent spokes of a lighthouse

Through the feckless years we have come to the time
when to look on this quilt of lamps is a troubling delight
Welling from Europe’s bog through Africa flowing
and Asia drowning the lonely lumes on the oceans
tiding up over Halifax now to this winking
outpost comes flooding the primal ink

On this mountain’s brutish forehead with terror of space
I stir of the changeless night and the stark ranges
of nothing pulsing down from beyond and between
the fragile planets We are a spark beleaguered
by darkness this twinkle we make in a corner of emptiness
how shall we utter our fear that the black Experimentress
will never in the range of her microscope find it? Our Phoebus
himself is a bubble that dries on Her slide while the Nubian
wears for an evening’s whim a necklace of nebulae

Yet we must speak we the unique glowworms
Out of the waters and rocks of our little world
we conjured these flames hooped these sparks
by our will From blankness and cold we fashioned stars
to our size and signalled Aldebaran
This must we say whoever may be to hear us
if murk devour and none weave again in gossamer:

These rays were ours
we made and unmade them Not the shudder of continents
doused us the moon’s passion nor crash of comets
In the fathomless heat of our dwarfdom our dream’s combustion
we contrived the power the blast that snuffed us
No one bound Prometheus Himself he chained
and consumed his own bright liver O stranger
Plutonian descendant or beast in the stretching night–
there was light

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *