In the Beginning

by C. John Holcombe

Earth over the Moon, recorded by Clementine

Since somewhere in the vastness was our beginning,
in the coalescing and melting as they crashed down—
ice-comets, planetesimals, meteors—to make
the core, the mantle and the homely crust,

we have attachments within us to those violent implosions,
to the first time, the far time, to a time untrammeled
in our make-up, our dreaming, to worlds no doubt
prefigured before us in those distant places.

So, if now of the Hadean there is nothing
recorded in rocks, in the heights or in the depths
and only by foraging on the moon's soft surface,
collecting up splinters can we trace it through,

we must remember in this to put aside
the colossi of theories that do not reach
to the plainness of matter, its obdurate nature,
its inertness to us, though not indifference.

For threaded in us, and through us, however briefly,
things have their meaning, their making and their varied lives.
Out of the stars we have come, and our immortal longings
brim in the evening if we think it so.

Copyright © 2004, C. John Holcombe

C. John Holcombe worked as an exploration geologist in the wilder parts of the world, and then moved into mining research, finance, numismatics, web programming, etc. He was Chairman for many years of one of the UK's oldest writing groups, and is currently Editor of, a guide to poetry on the Internet. His poems have appeared in numerous small presses in the UK and USA.

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Image courtesy of NASA and the NSSDC