Mosques and Rockets
by Michael Brett

Daily life can only bark in backyards at the stars,

But rockets and mosques point in the same direction:

Counting down in Arabic. They are both clean as needles.

Both stare up at stars painted on Moorish lattice work

Or ceilings of wood or Perspex. At dawn, they

Stand and steam, are horses bridled by Mathematics,

Saddled by Astronomy. We can lie and steal,

Make compromises and say That's the way Life is.

But rocket motors call like Mullahs from the skies.

Their flames are things once seen only in Greek speculation,

Dactyls or swirls of Arabic. For both, Zero and Hazaan times

Are blast-offs. Perhaps both are Jihads for the merciful.

US and Russian astronauts, Sufis, see in the curves of moons,

The same fragile curves that cup the thoughts in human skulls.

All these float between worlds. Above the clouds

The Earth is their flexed symposium, a spherical table

Where they pour out thoughts like hot tea into glasses.

Copyright © 2010 - Michael Brett
Published: 2/4/10   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem