Hunting For The Aurora

Hunting For The Aurora short poem

A coronal mass ejection
caused me to wake my son
at a quarter past midnight,
on a school night,
and wrap up him carefully,
to shut out the cold,
to keep a cosmic appointment
with electrons, plasma and protons
that had traveled a hundred million miles
to meet us.

At Magheracross
we huddled for an hour,
hats pulled down, coats zipped up,
squinting at the horizon
for green, and red, and blue
arcs and curtains spiralling to the pole.
The groundswell of a distant
Atlantic storm, searching for a shore,
slammed onto the cliff below,
and we saw nothing.

Then we stopped looking north,
and looked up, and I gave him Orion,
and he gave me the Plough,
and I gave him Jupiter,
gifts that had travelled more than
one hundred million miles.

His last words
before he fell asleep,
“If it was easy to find
it wouldn’t be so special”.

This poem is part of the Poetry Book Black Eyed Peace

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david atkinson

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Irish poet, who spent his early years in Belfast and now lives in Coleraine with his wife and 2 children. His first collection "Thomas" was published by Lapwing in 2005, and his second collection "Black Eyed Peace" has just been published. It is available as either a free eBook or in traditional printed format. His work has been widely published in magazines, anthologies, and on-line. His work has also been broadcast and published by the BBC and a number of his poems have achieved competition success. He has been involved with the Ballymoney Writers for over 15 years and has edited and published 3 collections of their work.
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