Delighted to have received this poem by David Alderson written in response to my drawing made in honour of the Solar Eclipse 2017 exhibited at Torbay Hospital in 2019. David is a Doctor, Educator and Writer - I highly recommend his website at www.picture1000.co.uk
Admitting the Possibilities of Error
Through circling stars on their diurnal courses
Sol’s chariot steers an invariant line,
And Venus and Mercury ride with the horses,
Dutifully rising in front, or behind.
But Mars and Saturn stray further, even Jupiter falters,
like prodigal suns stealing pods from the swine.
As we carve our own path of care and connection
Through the sublunar world of flux and disease,
We expect of ourselves Ptolemaic perfection,
Which even the planets can never achieve,
Growing layers of callus over memory’s conception
Of frailty and failings, we conceal and deceive.
But cut us more deeply, or stretch us till we break
apart, and you’ll find the amplified echo
Of rippling failure, of every mistake,
resounding within us from lifetimes ago:
Blame, shame, guilt and heartache
In dissonant waves which reach to our core.
Yet an axial slice will more truly reveal
Our annular bands, seasoned, matured—
Dry summers, hard winters, each ring tells the tale
Of new growth springing up after every fall—
Like numberless sheets of well-tempered steel
In the resilient blade of a Japanese sword.
And far from despising our own imperfection,
As we find our endeavours once more out of true,
We discover the value of flawed variation:
Creating fresh insights, perceiving anew,
Embracing the notion of self revolution
Which always begins with the shock of the new.