Friday, 14 of June of 2024

Sid Bridges – Diminishment of Stars and Me

As a boy we had kerosene lamps and lanterns
I would follow my dad along the meandering path
to the barn by the light of a swinging lantern

Nights were magic then with the vault of the
sky encrusted with thousands of stars
On hot summer nights we lay on quilts gazing at the star lit sky

In 1950 rural electricity came to
the Cherokee Strip and every house
got electricity and each farm had two yard lights

Every farmstead was lit up
If there was a purpose to yard lights
it was to sell more electricity. Progress?

The stars were blotted out
except for a few of the brightest
I don’t know when I started missing them

We huddle with artificial friends hiding from
the night bathed in ubiquitous electric light
cocooned in the glow of video screens

Moonlight and starlight became unimportant
to us in our technological distractions
unaware of the heat nightmare to come

Lately I went camping in the furthest reach of the panhandle
Stumbling out of the tent at night I was stunned
by the countless stars undiminished here

The universe is still alive and gleaming
It is us that are only half alive
existing in a circumscribed world of our own making

Sid Bridges
July-August 2007 Earth First!
Recording by DeaneTR and Evan Flory-Barnes

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