Nox Oculis

Wade Wellman

Cosmic Endings

    I dreamed I saw a galaxy explode,
    A massive spiral champion shorn of arms,
    And eons passed in seconds through my brain ;
    The evolution of the cosmic wheel,
    The whirling stellar city born of gas,
    Had finished in a scattering of stars ;
    Where stars had moved in orbits, night remained.

    I dreamed I saw the universe explode,
    The clusters and the superclusters dash
    In routed panic, as my eyes supposed,
    From one another; yet between their paths,
    Along their paths of flight, below, above,
    Passed vehicles on journeys none foresee :
    Imagination crumbled at the sight.

    I dreamed I saw an ultracluster turn,
    And watched the superclusters move on paths
    Within this mightiest of structured forms
    Of which the whole creation has been made ;
    I saw the stars burn out, the galaxies
    Disperse and perish, till the turning form
    Sped like a cinder through infinity.

    Wade Wellman

Dream and Reality

    I dreamed that space lay conquered at our feet,
    And that the moon was like the house next door,
    As rapidly attained as any floor
    Beneath our treading shoes ; I dreamed of heat
    Like earthly spring, in air that would not cheat
    My lungs, until with haste I ran before
    Its limits, then returned to breathe once more
    The life that waited in the vast retreat.
    I woke, and saw beyond the shadowed panes
    Of glass, a sky of stars and empty space ;
    I saw a cloud of cumulus on high --
    Then as I watched, the cloud sought distant lanes,
    And cold as granite in the darkened sky,
    The waxing moon looked down with sullen grace.

    Wade Wellman, tiré de Impulse #4 (Boise College, Boise, Idaho), Fall 1967

Pluto and Beyond

    A dark and silent globe, the last frontier
    Of solar domination yet revealed
    By instruments that probe the cosmic field
    Of space and stardust. Yet if eyes could peer
    Where comets dread to pass and spaceships fear,
    Into those lanes which from our view lie sealed,
    Another world, more distant still, might yield
    Its presence to our gaze, and like a spear
    Of stellar wormwood, robbed of all disdain,
    Provoke us to a quest in many styles ;
    A journey to the regions unexplored,
    A flight where we at last could vision gain
    Of our own sun at seven billion miles,
    Or claim the utmost planet as reward.

    Wade Wellman, tiré de Impulse #4 (Boise College, Boise, Idaho), Fall 1967

The Sorcerer

    "My feet have walked the sands of ancient Mars,
    And I have dug the soil on distant globes
    With spade and shovel, gazing on the stars,
    All decked in regal hopes and purple robes."
    "But what did you discern of Martian towns ?"
    I asked; and he replied with smiles and frowns :

    "We live for senseless fantasies and dreams,
    A melting polar cap, a vast canal ;
    A world made up of sorrows, rain, and streams,
    A desert windstorm, ceaseless on the prowl.

    "And when our dreams lie crushed, we think of more --
    A spaceship to the coalsack of beyond,
    A yearning wish to know what passed before,
    A meeting with some stellar vagabond.
    "I've seen it all," he said, and in his eyes
    The light was strange, his voice was deep and hard --
    "A planet void of wonder and surprise :
    I left it like a pebble in the yard."

    Wade Wellman, tiré de Impulse #5 (Boise College, Boise, Idaho), Fall 1968

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