Thomas Gillaspy   © 2014 All Rights Reserved


Each nautical flare
launched from without

our reach of sight
gives light

which hangs
before the sky’s dark stare.

Each differs:
redder, farther,

higher, brighter.
Only a test

at measured pace
without fury

or independence,
they rise

and arc with grace
to suggest

a path of rightness
for one at sea.

As when pre-flight
video tells us

in an emergency
track lighting will come on

to guide you.
A crimson arc

trailing smoke
is no star

to follow,
no rescue,

but gives,
while seeming not to,

liturgical reassurance
there will be

some unknown;
a ship will come,

one who sees
what we see—

red hot
parabolic flight,

traversing nothing
but the substance

of our breath;
its glowing trace

between black waves

with unheard

John Nimmo
Copyright © 2014  

John Nimmo’s poems have appeared in journals such as Rattle, Stirring, Wisconsin Review, Convergence, Sand Hill Review, Stickman Review, and others. He works as an environmental physicist specializing in water issues, and lives with his wife Elsa in Menlo Park, California. His poetry website is at

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