The old poet sat and looked out with me on my quiet summer porch. From wood-and-canvas chairs, we scanned the world that begins at sunset— a marvelous occupation that needs no training, no management team. “I open my scuttle at night,” Walt said in the darkness, “and see the far-sprinkled systems.” Constellations, we watched, a planet and a third-quarter moon. The beacon in the east became a jumbo jet overhead, its landing lights and its engines blaring power and authority. And is there a hierarchy in the night sky? Is bright Venus superior to the pock-spotted moon, or those stars in the Dippers? Do the stars, in turn, exceed the darkness between? “I do not call one greater and one smaller,” Walt said, “that which fills its period and place is equal to any.” Not the one outshining the rest, but the priceless and irreplaceable beats of a luminous heart.
Copyright 2018 by Brian Dean Powers
Note: Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819.