Each year the light is less
We can barely see it now
The faint necklace of
The Milky Way.
The old ones were wrong
You know with their waxed fingers
Pointing up like abandoned adobe.
Yet you know better in your cubical gardens
And half moth-eaten moons
You have arrived in
I hear they have placed
A pretty blue plaque
High above your flat
So that tourists can find you
And say that this is the spot
Where you killed yourself.
Lucky girl, you modern Sappho
To take the quantum leap
Like a comet to take your place
Among the darkest regions of empty space
With a brilliance that few can keep
And even less the mind to know
Where no dull planet can perturb you
As fallen flowers have no faces.
Clinton Van Inman is one of the last few members of Beatnik poets that still bang the drum (slower now) for the cause. He was born in Walton-on-Thames, England in 1945, graduated from San Diego State University in 1977, has been an educator most of his life, currently a high school teacher (planning to retire this year) in Tampa Bay where he lives with his wife, Elba.