End of an Astronomer

by Iain James Robb




The stars that mapped your eyes out will reverse in death:


By lightfall I have searched, to sight the death of stars.

From twilight or from morning lands, or Arctic towers.

No sun's wight falls to sweep and slide my entropy.


More men than man may miss have marked the entropy...

Of smiles before their distance, as their twilight towers-

In the aspects of familiars and their seeing stars-

And they lost the sense to care; yet, steer my way, dear death.

I board toward the country of the mirrored lands,

Where souls pass every glass, in their glissando falls.


Abroad, descent's departure, where a sky-craft falls.

There's now no thought of falling, or the sense of death,

For passengers whose eyes spill on the toytown towers-

Of city skies, that tar and pass at last, to entropy:

Because a new and sudden light-spill charts the pass of stars,

That came across to reign here, though they map no lands.


What was all fortune for? I've roamed all lanes and lands,

It seems, and all led here, my friends in entropy,

Who died and crossed the door, to where I lean to death,

As a diver courts the wind that lists to Angel Falls-

Or a climber scales the sunless side of stalwart towers,

That have never glanced disaster, or collapse of stars.


I list to others, somewhere other; wear a mask of stars,

Wide night, I am behind you. Though a morning falls,

My eye shall shudder sun, in its white entropy;

I am deaf to find the tangent where a sparrow lands-

Outside a window blank as branches, for a lover's death:

Though greening daylight serenade me, with her vacant towers.


Though gardens shed their gates and lose their trellis towers,

All picture-window dreams life reaps of wreathless lands-

They shall not lead me back. Perhaps an apple falls,

Perhaps my eyes are pointed north, and glance the saffron stars-

Apart from those, that harvest ardour in their entropy:

The startled cars and way-lost riders óf the jades óf death.


I come to you, rejoin all others; you have drowned out death:

And, ah, my own shall last one fraction of the castled stars...

That pour their light unguided in the sun-left lands,

And haloed roads, where daybirds wake their twitter-towers,

With other songs than mine: through march of harvest Falls,

Through beat of days, that recommence themselves, in entropy.




Instilled in things, I've known this face, no longer me;

The losing minute wanes at last, breaks weight, then dies:

As my crown tips out, towards each lilac galaxy

I'd crossed, in thought's still weight of unwained avatars:

Surcentred by the breathless belts, of other stars-

Waxed faint, gods cast from sand, beneath a pale of skies-    


Whose words are moonless nothings, lighting spheric skies

That drowned within the lifeless, beaching reach of me.

With merciless beating farness, of all arching stars,

Man's knights are faiths unpinioned by the casts and dies

Of days: and clowns his kingdom's laughing avatars:

Below a sun that spares, to blast at last, his galaxy.                                                                          


Their gulfs just laves on waves, to sail this galaxy,                                                            

Exchanged from these to those beneath the dearer skies,

Still the self, that starts and strains, goes with those avatars:

Kept near by faiths the fates held drear, then clear from me...

Which a hooded hawk can know perhaps before it dies;

Perhaps I'd know them all, remote, that mass whose seeking stars-


By marbled chance, and sightless sleights, of fallen stars-

Knew no such mind to pass upon their galaxy.

Break through the gate of what nor lives nor also dies,

O Dawn, on us afresh: a pebble spurned, which skies

Across some tide that no more sometime turns from me-

Disthroned with end of light, whose happy avatars


Are where no thought of mine has walked. My avatars-

All common first-wise gods when I admired the stars-

Chance to wear no salver crowns as those unknowing me-

Of show, or song - but by some stranger grasp of galaxy

I displace those at last, who race their levelled skies

With love that runs untrapped which, as it deals and dies,


Crescendos better flowers. And yet, come, all dies:

And words - that made their own faint rafts of avatars...

With eyes that captured hearts that captured gardened skies-

Content tó shed, with all the paths of angled stars;

I claim no more I shall bestride my galaxy:

With all like thralls, and fates, who always fáll through mé.


As something breaks inside me, where all starts and dies,

By a galaxy lost, retracked, those hiving avatars

Of arcs we call the stars retrace the striving skies:


And a light skies past the dark-serrated pass of stars.