Watching the Falling Sky

Watching the Falling Sky

by Nicky Yurcaba

“For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works.”—Ann Druyan

Remember the 1830-something November Leonid Shower?
When the Kiowa witnessed the event—unlike anything
their native eyes had ever seen—they shouted in their native tongue
“The sky! The sky is falling! The world is ending!”
In years to follow when the white men, plague, and famine
crippled their culture, their people, they acknowledged
the Leonids as a natural omen of their downfall, predicting
and foretelling hardships their people would face, struggle to overcome.

What would we do if the sky began to fall?
Would we merely watch the shooting stars
arrowing across night’s inky canvas by the billions–
fascinated—but scientifically forced to believe

that falling stars foretell no downfall, no struggles to overcome,
no plague, no famine, no genocide–; that the illuminated arrows
were merely celestial rock and dust b its, interfering with Earth’s orbit,
and though they passed, we would still be steadfast, remaining?
Or would we stand in November’s nipping cold, vigorous shivering
reminding us of our futile humanity, admonished b y the astronomical lightshow
that we are merely human, simply one animal amongst all Earth’s billions,
warned by the icy air’s mysterious stillness, and the sky’s wayward falling—
“Mother Nature controls you; you will never control her…”

-refers from the line “I’m thinking of sky” in Annmarie Lockhart’s poem Red, White and Blue

  1. Fantastic, outstanding, poignant and beautiful! Wow!

  2. Yes, Nicky, you make us wonder if the rational world really is all there is.

  3. Who knew……..Beautiful-jsut as you are-inside and out.

  4. Thrilled to see all the comments already streaming in! Thanks again, Nicole 🙂

  5. Thanks, everyone, for reading my poem! And thanks to Referential for publishing! ;P

  6. So thought provoking and wonderful! Thank you Nicole!

  7. I love your voice in this Nicky. And the arc of the story of the limitations of human knowledge.

  8. Beautiful

    x x x

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