PROMPT #402 – COSMOS

The James Webb telescope has seized our attention and imagination, with its ability to capture images from the far reaches of space. To find today’s poem, let’s look to the cosmos. Planets, stars, asteroids, comets, light, life … stretch your mind to its own far reaches, and grab the poem that is there.

MARIE’S MACROCOSM

What The James Webb Telescope Can’t See

Exposure to the vastness of our world
reveals the limitations of my brain.
As gleaming glows of galaxies unfurled
have come to light, I cannot even feign

to grasp a tiny bit of what exists,
or visualize what else may be out there.
For as the search continues to persist,
we’ll surely find more great unknowns elsewhere.

Here’s me, my feet fixed firmly to the ground;
my tiny world spills full with those I love.
My eyes and heart lift up to God, spellbound
at what He made that I can scarce dream of.

This God who spoke unending realms to be,
sees fit to whisper words of love to me.  

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place: What is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them?”
~ Psalm 8:3-4



WALT’S WORLD

COSMO’S FACTORY

Hear the sounds in a rundown garage,
a hodge-podge of music and mayhem,
giving Creedence to the revival.
Clear water runs deep. But, who can sleep
while the travelin' band is assembled.

Life resembles the ramble-table they provide.
It cannot hide. My baby left me
up around the bend. Looking out
my back door I wonder who will stop the rain.
I heard it through the grapevine, but
before you accuse me, let's run through the jungle
as long as I can see the light.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik - 2022

A Found Poem written from the song titles (in italics) from the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s album, “Cosmo’s Factory”. A different take.

132 thoughts on “PROMPT #402 – COSMOS

  1. Looking for the Big Bang

    We gather radio waves
    like light with a golden mirror
    infinitely more powerful
    than the previous telescope.
    We find a wonderland
    as the universe flowers
    in indigos, blues, and scarlets
    as we ponder
    our time and place.
    We see visions of light
    of bodies born
    near the beginning of time,
    already faded and died,
    and we’re left with their stories.
    We look at spirals where
    galaxies collide
    as we ponder our fate,
    and we already know
    that in four billion years
    the sun will expand
    beyond its borders
    and determine our fate.
    Yet, we remain
    children at heart
    a couple sitting
    together in a car
    whispering to each other
    heartfelt aspirations
    on a soft, quiet night.

  2. BETTER THAN SOCIAL MEDIA

    Cosmo
    used to cut hair
    and sometimes our whiskers,
    and for the best gossip, we sought
    Cosmo’s.

      • Yes, he (not his right name) was. Lots of barbers were Italian when I was young, Perry Como included. In fact, somebody once said to me, “If he’s a barber and he ain’t Italian, he ain’t no barber.”

        • We found that to be the case where I was raised, but it was a predominantly Italian town, so that just makes sense. Markets, barbers, and shoe repair shops seemed to be the main trades for them … my extended family, included.

          • I had forgotten about shoe repair, but you’re right: in every case I can remember, the proprietor was an Italian fellow. Hard to find an actual shoe repair or cobbler shop these days.

            THE LEONARDO OF LEATHER

            When shoes
            had worn-out blues,
            we would take a short cruise
            to Angelo’s, who made our shoes
            like new.

  3. Walt, I don’t know those musicians or their songs, but it hardly matters, given how well integrated your poem is.

  4. James Webb Telescope

    James Webb Telescope,
    peers into the past.
    Not the future.

    But what does God see?

    God knows the future.
    Revelation, written thousands of years ago,
    predicts what were once impossibilities,
    now reality.

    And some yet to happen.

    Is time not something here but gone,
    but more like a highway
    one can go back and forth on?

    God sees the whole highway.

    It boggles the mind.

  5. A THOUGHT ABOUT WEBB, HUBBLE, ARECIBO, ET AL.

    These scopes
    see the heavens
    as they are evolving,
    but no scope can see the heavens
    evolved.

  6. Earthly Delights

    If it was mine, I’d have given her the world,
    everything in great shape, shiny, like new,
    and she’d probably have liked that,
    would have appreciated it too.
    But I have owned so little of it,
    not much of it mine,
    how it was in the early days,
    so I would give her instead,
    a homemade valentine.
    Other gifts in the past have varied,
    some patchouli oil, some seeds,
    like for the Cosmos flowers I didn’t care for,
    but blossoms perfect for her needs.
    I’m a bit wiser now,
    (well older anyhow),
    own a little more of the world today,
    and what’s it matter anyway?
    I found the best gift of all,
    better than top shelf or anything up above,
    almost fifty-two years into marriage,
    I’ve never been more in love.

  7. NIGHT AND DAY

    Upon the beach they fell in love;
    they pledged their troth by stars above;
    but morning brought some consternation
    enlightened by close observation.

  8. A Cosmos of Flowers

    I planted Cosmos in my garden and
    waited for their feathery leaves and
    nodding heads to lighten my world.
    Sitting here on the garden bench,
    watching them wave greetings to the sky,
    I wonder if there are flower gardens
    on other planets, waving back.

    • Kevin! So good to see you out here! Had to look up your word that looks like a name for another world in a fantasy novel. 😉 Or maybe it’s just that this prompt has me spacing out. 😉 Thank you for your always kind and encouraging words, even if I do have to look them up. 😀

  9. The Gospel

    A cosmos imagined, from chaos coalesced
    On nothing God hangs a bright world.
    Terra firma emerges, a home for His image
    of dust, mankind is unfurled.

    Senses awakened, not alone in the garden
    Of his maker new-man has no doubt
    Until sin brings a shroud, separation ensues,
    For his maker he looks up, and looks out.

    New every morning, God’s mercy in love
    Sends His Son as full payment for sin
    Emanuel here, Heaven brought near
    Our good Maker looks down, and looks in.

    Cosmos reimagined, from chaos restored
    New heaven, new earth in the wings
    The darkness rolled back, relations restored
    New light through redemption He brings.

  10. When do we find cosmos….

    The world is in chaos…
    Up is down, left is right
    In is out, and it is confusing I know…

    When chaos rules…
    There is no order…
    Irrational emotions…
    Words of hate
    Rules
    And love has left the building.

    I closed my eyes
    To block out the darkness…
    But still it tapped me on the shoulder
    Reminding me it is still out there….

    When will we find cosmos?
    When will we see that things
    Flow better when love is the center,
    And chaos is placed in a black hole
    Forever not to be found.

    When will we understand….
    Where hate and chaos live
    Love never does.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    September 4, 2022

  11. I THANK THE STARS

    I commend the stars—
    for their self-luminous performance.

    The esculent taste
    of their assembled beauty is far reaching.

    They faithfully assure
    that there is an abundant light in the universe.

    That there isn’t
    a creeping reign of darkness afar.

    Yes, I commend the stars—
    Thank them, for their service.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  12. BEYOND THE MIND

    through expanse itself
    what is it
    we cannot reach
    gently feel
    reveal into our hearts
    in terms of connection
    true affection
    as if through
    invisible rings of light
    a Cosmic delight
    as real as holding the hand
    of a small innocent child
    with our wild
    boundless
    Imagination
    we can soar
    further than what dreams are for
    touching that Great Wonder
    that’s under
    all of life
    as we again
    grow small
    while lovingly
    encompassing
    it all
    a silent journey
    worth taking
    ours for the making
    shaking
    up
    who we thought we were
    assimilating the cure
    the most compassionate
    collaboration
    to be sure
    going for that Higher Love
    guides us there
    becoming
    everything
    we’re already
    made of
    to allow that light
    through
    we just have to remember
    that’s what we all are here
    to ultimately , lovingly
    do

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2022

  13. Moon-flooded Stars

    Shimmery stars light
    up my life. Best
    when backed by
    a moon of fullness.
    A spoonful of
    comfort to aid
    in darkest
    of times. A
    sublime sky
    takes you
    out of yourself
    to a place that
    is not in your
    control.

  14. On Seeing Dali’s take on the Last Supper…

    The line was long and hushed…
    Especially where people were close
    To that painting of the Last Supper…

    The room where they ate
    Seemed to be transfixed
    Into the atmosphere…
    With the sky so blue
    And the light gleaming gold….
    There above them was the chest
    Of a man reaching wide
    A hint of what was to come…
    Before the whips,
    The lashes,
    Trips back and forth
    As one leader after another
    Wanted nothing to do with it,
    The crown of thorns,
    Roughhewn cross,
    The pain,
    Rough boards
    Against his back,
    Nails separating his ankles and wrists… and
    Forgiveness.

    Only two in that room that night
    Knew what was going to happen.
    All were bowed and on Dali’s table
    Made of stone…was one loaf of bread
    And one glass of wine.

    This painting is of the cosmos…
    Those moments that stand still…
    Before the words are said,
    Before the betrayals,
    The fear and
    Gut-wrenching grief…

    This is the stillness of knowing God…
    His voice clear as he took the bread…
    And said this is my body that will be broken…
    Did Judas cringe at those words?
    In those moments did guilt come down on him
    For he was in the stillness of knowing God.

    His voice owned what would happen…
    He had to still himself when he prayed later…
    Faith in his Father was all that mattered…
    Remember me when you eat this bread…

    The simple substance of life…
    Ordinary homemade bread…
    That brought the aroma of home into that room.
    He knew that in simplicity
    There was cosmos.

    The stillness in the room
    Was echoing the beats of their hearts,
    As they fixed their eyes on him…
    Even the betrayer was held in their grasp.

    He took the wine and held it up for them…
    This is my blood that I am spilling for you.
    As the cosmos grew closer…
    They heard only his voice,
    And floated within the atmosphere…

    They were silenced, and could not speak…
    As the wine was passed to them.
    They thought of what wine had been to them…
    Drank during celebrations.
    Served during supper time or
    While being guests …
    It carried within it
    The taste of the flowers
    That grew close by the vines,
    And those vines had to be pruned
    On the coldest day of winter
    To keep the sap from running…
    It carried the dark deep soil in its taste,
    And the warmth of summer.

    He was telling them
    To remember Him,
    And remember all these things…

    He took these two simple things
    To be used as remembrance…
    For he understood that being still
    Was part of the cosmos.
    He knew that through simplicity
    Was how cosmos
    Reached us…
    And we could be still
    And know God.

    As I stood in front of Dali’s painting…
    I was twenty, and did not believe in God…
    But somehow that painting
    Reached into that part of me that was searching,
    And four months later when
    I stepped forward in faith.
    When I took my first communion,
    I felt the stillness of that room
    As I remembered Him…

    This morning I took communion,
    And within me my spirit was moved,
    Knowing that in the stillness
    I knew God, and I was at peace.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    September 4, 2022

      • Thank you and look up his painting called Saint John of the Cross…He was a religious man… and his paintings from his beliefs are amazing…

          • I know and I have another painting that he did that fits this but it is a bit more difficult to portray…. He took a drawing of St. John of the Cross… who was a Monk during the Spanish Inquisition and who was often thrown in prison because he was not a Jesuit. He wrote beautiful poetry some of which has been turned into songs. Lorena McKermit not sure how to spell her name but she used one of his poems to Christ which during that time it was common for monks and nuns to write love poems to Christ that are not what we expect. Any way the song is Dark Night of the soul… which is a concept he had which said that at our darkest moments God is closer to us than when we are happy…

      • Thank you, and I love art… my brother Joe was an artist, and I am not bad but my passion is more in writings.

  15. YIELDING TO THE COSMOS

    I yield
    to the luminescence
    of the cosmos.

    I let unrelenting
    thoughts meld
    into the light.

    The burdensome,
    unwanted things
    fade to black.

    Benjamin Thomas

  16. The Cosmos Creator

    Genesis explains it all quite clearly
    Six days is all creation took Them
    To put together a puzzle that still
    Baffles even the wisest among us

    Yet we search the heights and depths
    For answers to our many questions
    Often overlooking the evidence
    That stares us right in our faces

    Why don’t we just have faith?
    Why isn’t God’s Word sufficient?
    I guess it’s just human curiosity
    That keeps us wanting answers

    The cosmos is mysterious at best
    An expanse of never-ending questions
    With even more incomplete answers
    That only arouse more questions

    The Big Bangers search to the left
    The Creationists search to the right
    While the wise search in the center
    For the possibility of connections

    Meanwhile the Cosmos Creator
    Lays a never-ending trail of crumbs
    That all lead to the same results
    That all was created in six days

  17. There’s God!
    In the cosmos!
    Right in front of our eyes!
    He’s left His mark on everything.
    Even a blind man sees Him.

  18. Mysteries of the cosmos
    Answers that may never be found
    At least not in this life
    But in the next
    With God

  19. Solidago canadensis

    In the night stars
    tumbled from the heavens
    fasten onto green stems
    become solidago goldenrod
    arcing over purple thistles
    creamy boneset fragile
    partridge peas with their freight
    of lightning bugs and honey bees

    Stars not so much fallen
    after their shimmering sizzling
    trajectories but tiny meteors
    bits of space dust we call
    stars only in song and habit

    and yet holding these sprays
    of feathery goldenrod plucked
    from beside creamy blue
    of pitcher sage waving alongside
    surely they are the stuff of other realms

    those nightly millions, pinpoints
    that remain nameless and distant
    except for their ever travelling light
    captured now in field after field as if
    the cosmos had turned upside down.

  20. To Be a Spaceman

    “I wanted to be a Spaceman,
    That’s what I wanted to be”
    But I was born with a slight defect
    I couldn’t see what I needed to see
    One eye was just a little weak
    Weak enough for them to deny
    My dream of breaking gravity
    To explore things beyond our blue sky

    I wanted to be a spaceman
    But my dream just wasn’t to be
    I’m grounded for life on this planet
    Because one of my eyes couldn’t see
    Those letters on the 20/20 eye chart
    Kept me from joining the space race
    Seems that’s the hand I’ve been dealt
    So I stand here and stare into space

    So much for being a spaceman
    This earth will be where I’ll stay
    To dream of a trip through the heavens
    A trip that I will take one day
    And when that final mission happens
    I’ll rise through the clouds on high
    And walk right through those Pearly Gates
    For eternity in the sweet by-and-by

    So I guess I will be a spaceman
    When God makes my dream come true
    He’ll show me all of His creations
    That lay beyond this sky of bright blue
    The Milky Way and all of the cosmos
    Will all be for me to explore
    It’s gonna be awesome to see it all
    And I’m sure there’ll be much, much more

  21. He said it came from a Cosmic Dream….

    I was in Glasgow almost twenty years
    Since I saw Dali’s painting of the last Supper…

    There wasn’t a line to see it.
    Other paintings had that honor, but
    This was modern museum, and
    On this trip I had seen my share of portraits,
    And we had an afternoon
    To ramble in the museum…

    It was painted the year before
    I was born… and years before
    I would understand it…
    Dali called it St. John of the Cross…
    Which I did not comprehend,
    But sent me on a mission to understand.

    Dali when asked said,
    “It came to me in a cosmic dream.”
    He had taken a drawing
    By St. John of the Cross…
    A monk who entered a school
    For orphans and poor children…
    He understood the plight of children.
    I could relate to that…
    He understood despair, and loss
    And wrote poetry to Christ…
    Love poems that one would
    Write to a lover… but he was monk…
    Defying those who brought
    The Inquisition to Spain…
    His defying acts sent him to prison
    More than once…
    This complex man understood
    Loss and despair, and
    Said on the dark night of the soul…
    God is closer than when we are joyful…
    He is there comforting us…

    And drew Christ hanging from a cross
    Suspended in air…
    Three hundred and three score years before
    Dali painted his drawing…

    Most of the canvas is dark
    And in this darkness
    Is Christ hanging with his head down
    On the cross… but
    No nails, no crown of thorns…
    Just the triangle created by his limbs
    Showing the power of the Trinity
    Unified by the circle which is head
    Hanging down where you can’t see his face.
    The cross and Christ glow in the darkness
    And below is a fisherman’s village
    Lit with daylight.

    It stilled me that painting did.
    I had stopped writing after my father had died
    Three years before…
    And less than a week had passed
    Since I wrote my first poem…
    It would be years before
    I would understand the dark night of the soul,
    But I was there in my grief
    And in the stillness of cosmos
    I stood before this painting,
    And missed the rest of the museum.
    I understood the power of that unity…

    Art has always spoke to me…
    In ways that sermons rarely did…
    Looking at art, my soul stills
    And my heart connects
    With the artist who is not there,
    And the universe which is.
    I would like to go back
    To see that painting again.
    I would like study it, and
    Think about that cosmic dream
    Dali had had…
    I understand that completely
    For sometimes the cosmos speaks to me,
    And the words given to me
    Are not mine but the cosmos.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    September 5, 2022

  22. This is an old one… I used to practice contemplative prayer, and this is how I summed it up… I need to get back to doing it…

    Cosmos

    Be Still
    In stillness
    Let the worries
    Flow into nothingness;
    Let the chaos
    Dissolve into the waters
    Of stillness.
    Waters cool and calm
    And smooth as a mirror
    Reflecting the universe…
    Be still
    In stillness
    Each breath- a pebble
    Dropping into the still waters
    Slowly falling
    Disciplined ripples
    The order of the cosmos
    The order of the universe…
    In stillness
    Be still.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 14, 2018

  23. this was a remake of the above poem from a different perspective.

    The order of Cosmos

    Stillness
    Less noise
    No frantic ringing
    Cosmos…
    I hunger for cosmos.
    Instead, I snack on chaos.
    The chaos of breaking news,
    The gossip of our nation, but
    It only fattens me
    With tantalizing tidbits.
    I hunger for Cosmos…
    The order of things
    Not a bunch of pick-up sticks
    Tossed around to be
    Removed without moving.
    I hunger for Cosmos
    The order of stillness
    Beside a river flowing
    Over rocks and
    Trees growing.
    I hunger for Cosmos
    The universe of expanse
    Not found in pills or smoked
    But there- where the order
    Began in the stillness of life-
    The order of Cosmos.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    April 20, 2018

    From the poem “Cosmos” dated April 14, 2018…

  24. I think I have explored every angle of Cosmos…. and night…

    Night Falls

    Most nights fall
    Softly through the veil of twilight-
    A bewitching hour where
    Fairies come out to dance
    In the lighted darkness
    Before the stars are flung across the night sky…
    But tonight, fell fast upon me
    No sunset to guide me
    Into the darkness.
    I pondered the darkness as it fell
    As a cloak around me
    As I stood out upon my hill
    Watching the stars dance
    And listening in the stillness
    Beyond the calls of the night creatures
    Beyond the stillness of listening to my heart beating
    Beyond where reason lies, and
    The soul collides with the cosmos dust
    While listening to the crystal sounds
    Of stars dancing in the distance
    While I was trapped upon my hill
    Held in place by gravity and time.
    In the stillness I understood
    More than all the noise had provided.
    The night fell to me as it did-
    It touched my soul
    Reminding me that I was only
    Made of dust from the cosmos.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 4, 2019

  25. DEEP SPACE

    If only I could amass the world’s misery and stifling pain,
    hurl it deep—into the farthermost realms of outer space.

    Allow it to colonize yonder planets—afar—settle down,
    reproduce, and become its own bumbling bitter race.

    If only.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  26. The night of the eclipse of the blood moon…

    Everything was uncertain…
    My nephew and I had
    Shared such a night
    After I walked to the edge of death.
    Two months later
    I was alive, but for how long
    Was uncertain for each time
    I breathed I lost blood.

    He took me out to watch the stars dance,
    And to watch the cosmos
    Fling its mystic meanings
    Across a blue satin sky.
    I was different than I had been…
    For I had walked to the edge of life,
    And was still alive…
    Seeing the wonders of the night
    For the first time
    Since I had laid as a child
    With my pillow in an open window
    Watching the moon trace its familiar steps-
    I fell asleep dreaming, but
    Life robbed me from those moments,
    And it was my time to begin again.

    Over twenty years later,
    On a May night
    He and I drove to a broken bridge
    And watched the blood moon eclipse.
    He was in those moments of uncertainty,
    And I knew he was changing…
    Life would never be the same for him.
    We leaned against his truck,
    And I talked about that night
    When we had went out to watch
    The stars dance, and what joy it brought to me.

    He nodded that he understood, and
    Then he said whatever happens
    Live your life, and I swallowed my tears.
    But I had faith this was not his last days.

    A face of a bearded man looked
    From the face of the moon, and
    Seemed to glow a duller red
    As the earth and the sun aligned.
    I felt the joy of the sight, and watched
    As bats flew into the sky catching night bugs.
    As the moon was dark except
    For the ring of fire that surrounded it…
    I knew within us was this fire for living.

    Our lives are tied by these two nights.
    Where uncertainty made our faith seem a joke,
    But yet I survived, and he survived…
    Faith was as physical as the cosmos
    And when we are small and insignificant
    Is when we are part of the universe,
    And like the moon, earth and sun align-
    On such nights as these
    And in the impossibility of miracles
    We have aligned with it all.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    September 6, 2022

  27. OF WEBB AND BLAKE

    Photographs taken with NASA’s James Webb telescope, revealing vast numbers of young galaxies, often mention that they show a view of the cosmos equivalent to one looking at a grain of sand held at arm’s length, calling to mind William Blake’s lines from his poem, “Auguries of Innocence”: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour,” leading one to ponder the vastness of galaxies out there and subatomic particles within, and wonder whether much has changed from then to now.

    In infinity
    of cosmos or grain of sand
    lies eternity.

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