Tenuous it wells and spreads far out across the sleeted sky,
A shapeless bulk against the suns which, immersed, within it lie
And glow a dull red angry hue, convulsed they wave with life aware
Arched tendrils of the galaxies; sentient, they curl and stare
Into the closely crowding gloom, taut filaments of pearl strung light
Stand stiff from where a bursting sun collapsed beneath the crushing might
Of this vast sprawling entity, spawn of the darkness, spherical
Or cubic relativity, a mindless thought, a miracle.
Into a finite consciousness there threads a thought of Being,
Intelligence is wrought to life within a mammal; seeing
With clumsy organs blind to all but one prismatic cord
Yet in that spectrum reveling to rob it of its hoard
Of orange, yellow, green, and gold, amethystine and blue,
Each sharp distinction revealed by some subtle shade or hue
In the glory of the morning, at the brazen gong of noon
Or the swirling dusk of evening lapping at a sated moon.
Some wonder why it clings to earth, to live and live again
To taste with the ephemeral their joy and hate and pain;
Why one who could destroy or build a universe should live
Within the confines of a man, what has a man to give?
That man has sight and taste and smell and touch to guide him by
And he can hear a thousand sounds some beautiful, some wry.
For though his senses may be fogged and though his mind be dim
Each process of perception forms a thought distinct, to him.
To one that broods within the void and is to all receptive;
A planet with encrusted life is but a pawn; perceptive,
Attuned to an infinity of graded radiation
Produces an intelligence that knows but one sensation
A color, it would be white to us, an unbearable glare
It has no shield, there is no help, it can only cringe and stare
Into the fire; or thrust itself into the mind of you or I
Escaping from the bitter cold, the blinding snow fields of the sky.
— Grady L. McMurtry
Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, January 1992.