Free fall. A star

Flashing through the universe.

Arms spread to angel wings,

The ripcord at the last possible moment,

Then floating like an autumn leaf.


Or that umbilical cord,

Off a cliff headfirst the way a hawk

Dives for its prey. The bounce to signal

The end of adventure.


Surge of adrenalin. Veins rivering

In flood. Heart as full as love

Could measure. Every muscle timed

To perfection in the pit

Of the belly where cells muster.


Man on a bridge

Nervously pacing before swinging

A leg over the rail. Balancing precariously

As if considering. What thoughts

Race as he plummets knowing

No halo of salvation can open

Above him like a bright flower,

No stretch of imagination

To seize his ankles and hold him.


More Bad News


Here comes the Andromeda Galaxy

Destined to smash the Milky Way

In four billion years. One more thing

To worry about along with taxes,

Unemployment, college tuition, decline

Of the liberal arts, bankruptcy of Medicare,

Pension plans, Social Security, moral

Integrity, faith and love.


We lie awake in our white beds

Of starfall counting the disasters

About to befall generations

Still quivering in our cells. However,NASA

Predicts a merger rather than pure devastation:

Milkomeda, an enormous cow

Of a daughter chained to rock

But rescued by Perseus. So there’s always hope


That  earth may be spared, though by then our sun

Is a cauldron filled with our ashes. Another thing

To trouble about as the skies pale

Behind the blinds. 


by Joan Colby


Joan Colby is an award-wining writer who has been widely published in journals including Poetry, Atlanta Review, GSU Review, Portland Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, Mid-American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Kansas Quarterly, The Hollins Critic, Minnesota Review, Western Humanities Review, College English, Another Chicago Magazine and others.

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