The Void Above the Sky – NaPoWriMo #19

From NaPoWriMo2012 Prompt #19, which asks poets to write the opposite of an existing poem. I chose to retrofit Walt Whitman’s The World Below The Brine (text below as well), with some liberties taken because an exact opposition was somewhat impossible, given the plants and animals.

The Void Above The Sky
The void above the sky,
Nothingness above the world, expanding endlessly,
Asteroids, confined comets, normal orbits of planets, the thin uncluttered closures, the absent colors,
Similar hues, blue and red, orange, black, and yellow,
The work of stars through the vacuum,
Smart drifters there among the gaseous, rocky, molten, forming, un-forming, and the health of those drifters,
Speedy dissolution burning their motions, or quickly sprinting far from the top,
The black-hole underneath it all sucking matter and light, or collapsing on itself,
The solar systems, their neighbors, the pulsars, the sleek nebulae  and the galaxies they all in reside,
Cold, their peaces, lackadaisical  strangers, blindness in that empty-shallow, breathless in that vacuum, as nothing else,
The same thence to the darkness there, and to the obvious airlessness exhaled by beasts like them that talk in those voids,
The same retreat from yours to that of beasts who walk this void.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
THE world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes, and the aliment of the swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.


One response to “The Void Above the Sky – NaPoWriMo #19

  1. I sure like how you’ve transformed this! You came up with something Whitmanesque yet completely original–and very vivid. My favorite image: “The work of stars through the vacuum.” Thanks for a great read!

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