The Migration of Darkness
By Peter Payack
12 June 2006
Many thanks to Peter Payack for giving us permission to reprint his work for a limited time in conjunction with Greg Beatty's
"Reading the Rhysling."]
Each evening, shortly after sunset,
darkness covers the land.
Having mystified thinkers for millennia,
mechanism for this occurrence
has now been identified: migration.
Darkness, it has been found, is composed
of an almost infinite number of particles,
which roost and reproduce up north
where they have fewer natural enemies:
fires, lampposts, lasers, blazing sunlight,
torches, candles, lighthouses,
limelight, and electricity
are relatively rare in the polar regions.
These lightweight bits of darkness
flock together and fly south each evening
to more fertile land in a never-ending search
for an abundant food supply.
coming of the rising sun,
they return to their northern nesting grounds.
all specks of darkness migrate.
Some that are less adventurous
choose to stay behind.
These covey together, in varying numbers,
seeking shelter from the strong sunlight
by gathering under leafy
large rocks, and underneath umbrellas;
in alleys, between parked cars,
in caves, and inside empty pockets.
These clusters are perceived by us as shadows.
They have a somewhat shorter life span
than those which migrate.
Copyright © 1979 Peter Payack
(Comments on this piece | Poetry Forum | Main Forum Index | Forum Login)
Peter Payack is the widely acclaimed poet, writer, inventor and sky artist. He
has published more than 1,500 poems, with multiple appearances in The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Amazing
Science Fiction Stories, and Asimov's Science Fiction. Payack is the inventor of the world-renowned Stonehenge Watch, an infinitesimal replica of the megaliths at Stonehenge inside of an old-fashioned pocket watch. The Stonehenge Watch has
been featured at The International Sky Art Conference at MIT, on BBC-TV, and in Astronomy, and it has been for sale at the
Stonehenge site itself. As a Sky Artist, Payack has been commissioned to create environmental poetry projects for The New
York Avant Garde Festival, The International Sky Art Conference, The Harvard 350 Celebration and Boston's First Night.
His latest major book Blanket Knowledge, from Zoland Books, is available autographed from the author, for $10, at Payack@aol.com. Payack won the 1980 Short Poem Rhysling Award for "The Migration of Darkness," which, along with all other Rhysling
winners from 1978 through 2004, can be found in The Alchemy of Stars.