Milton with Galileo, 1638 by Cameron Clark

Milton with Galileo, 1638

You were old when we met, blind,
your guarded house a satellite,
full of clocks & books telescoping
into shadow. I was young: had come armed
with arguments & old heresy; but as you spoke silence
rose in me & I listened. You told me how each night the sky
had rearranged your sense of hierarchy:
the world, one more mothlike planet, endlessly
circling; of the book burnings, the cold-eyed guards,
your Church’s punishment. Look through the glass
you said, but clouds hung a ceiling
of stone.

& now, opening marble eyes to another
stone day’s darkness, counting the morning’s iambs
off like an abacus, I rediscover
you, taller, younger, steering
your gaze to the centre
& not finding Earth’s image there, but a tallow
of molten light you are the first to read by.

by Cameron Clark

Editor’s Note: The imagery, metaphors, and personification in this poem are expertly balanced, with each one contributing just enough surprise to the narrative to keep the reader completely engrossed.