Stars and Planets

Norman MacCaig

Trees are cages for them: water holds its breath
To balance them without smudging on its delicate meniscus.
Children watch them playing in their heavenly playground;
Men use them to lug ships across oceans,through firths.

They seem to twinkle-still, but they never cease
Inventing new spaces and huge explosions
And migrating in mathamatical tribes over
The steppes of space at their outrageous ease.

It's hard to think that the earth is one -
This poor sad bearer of wars and disasters
Rolls-Roycing round the sun with its load of gangsters,
Attended only by the loveless moon.



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