Pluto Fly-By by Eric Norris

Pluto Fly-By
For Clyde

I hope these instruments will tell me what
You are. A god? A dog? A joke? Or all
These three combined? Your ever-growing dot,
In infrared, looks oddly tropical,

Warm, compared to the surrounding void.
You float there like a coconut: brown,
Round, shorn of life’s green husk. Buoyed
And battered by a cosmos not renowned

For generosity, you are a breath
Of fresh air: with a planet-wide plateau—
A heart. A giant heart. I confess
That valentine came as a shock. Pluto,

You were my first encounter. And my last.
My battery is small. My power dies.
It’s true: the wastes of space are unsurpassed
In loneliness. But once, I was surprised.

by Eric Norris

Editor’s Note: There can never be too many astronomy poems. This one is light and amusing, but no less poignant than yesterday’s.

To A Humming Bird by Eric Norris

To A Humming Bird
Calypte anna

Emerald throated,
vermillion coiffed,
male, flamboyantly gay
in the old-fashioned sense,
be yourself: beautiful.

Flitter from magnolia
to magnolia blossom,
hovering however
indecisively you wish,
suspended by a line
of poetry, in mid-air.

Deep as you dare, plunge
into those pink petals,
bury your thin black beak,
sipping whatever nectar
you find cupped within.

Gorge yourself silly.

All afternoon, let
the rivers of nectar flow,
fuel for those notorious
flights of freedom we
sad slaves to gravity
find so disturbing in dreams.

I will sit on this swing
quietly, content
as a bum, with that hum
barely audible above
the neighbor’s shrieking saw.

I will take to my grave
your indefatigable wings:
a tiny bird beating
celestial harmonies
out of thin air.

Let that be my song.

by Eric Norris

Editor’s Note: Anyone who follows my Facebook feed knows how much I love birds. This poem is a lovely ode to the Anna’s Hummingbird.