For Ray Bradbury
A young boy looked up into the night sky
searching the blackness for the meaning of it all,
longing for the call from the magical mistress
of all things sacred and noble
to set him upon the path to become
a storyteller for the ages.
He had a sense of wonder and a zest for life
not yet (and never to be) extinguished, and
he held his heart open to the gods
She shot across the heavens,
a vision from the past and
an oracle of the future,
a fire-hot projectile
with enough fuel to propel her to the end of time,
and a long, glowing, and flowing tail
to light the way for all.
He gazed in amazement and
considered the spectacle.
What was it?
Who was it?
Did you see it?
Did you feel the warmth, the majesty?
He could not hear it, for it was silenced by distance,
but oh, did it make a sound.
He could not touch it, and yet,
it left an overpowering impression.
The boy watched and listened intently,
and took heart.
His decision was made.
He jumped on for the ride and never looked back.
Together as one they traveled into the future,
a celestial object made from the
dust of the stars and the love of the gods,
their measure and strength growing along the way,
fed by everything they touched.
He was instantly aged but ageless, timed but timeless.
His was an eccentric orbit on a determined course.
I could see the arc of his path clearly and
knew at once that the mystery and the magic,
the stories and the love, would never end.
The brilliant light traveled across the galaxy and
left in its path only love and insight and inspiration,
surely enough for mere mortals to build a life upon.
Surely enough for me.
I watched the blazing light streak across the sky
for as long as he would allow me.
I ached to follow his travels,
wished to garner some of the passion he held
for life and for words.
As I pass through what remains of
the radiant, cosmic particles left in his wake,
I take comfort in knowing that the pixie dust is
strewn far and wide, and I can only
hope that the light never dies.
I know that someday he will return, that
he will come back for all the world to see.
Maybe not within this lifetime, but sometime . . .