Spark-set dome

Imperious, austere,
It shimmers overhead,
The spark-set dome,
Fringed by the tossed tree tops,
Cave-black, while we crunch through
Late winter snow on moonless night.

With motion scarce perceived,
Sky wheels a westward drift.
Against its pace,
We’re but a feathered flit
Half-glimpsed among dark trees
In breaking light, while it rolls on.

Cling to the edge
Of hurtling orb
Through stark and chill of space.
Hold tight but for a moment more;
Its all the time we have.

At last we stumble home,
Knock boots on cabin steps.
Shuck off our coats,
Unbundle and flop down.
Gaze into well-banked fire:
A corridor of pulsing coals.

Snug burrowed in our nest,
We intertwine
Two separate orbits.
It feels as though we have
A boundless swath of time
To share, before the hearth grows cold.

So small, so brief,
This tenure here;
Our ancestors, amassed,
Mark but a flickering against
The celestial machine.

The morning songbird chirps:
Beyond beyond beyond…
Eventually,
The momentary poise
Of vast machinery
Will drag, decay, wend out of phase.

Until a loosed orb smacks,
With unforgiving force,
Into our own,
Smash both the worlds apart.
Cleft chunks reverberant
Soon harmonize a new order.

So still, peaceful,
It seems again,
No warbling disturbs
Smooth motion, balanced perfectly,
Will roll forever on.