Streaks of Light, Like Heaven’s Scars

The Perseids Meteor Shower has come and gone, and I’m thankful to Google for highlighting it on the main page, or I might have missed it. My wife and I took some law chairs and went into the shadows across the street, out of sight of the streetlights, and watched the sky on a beautiful summer night. For a short time I felt just a little foolish, fairly certain that what I was looking for could not be distinguished from dust in my eye or an atmospheric flicker in my peripheral view. Then we saw it. Stretching across the whole of the sky, like a firework on the 4th of July, only going across the horizon instead of fleeing from it. It burned brighter and brighter, going from white to yellow and almost orange before it disappeared. As it burned itself out, I swear I was waiting for the explosion and a crowd with their children around me going “Ahhhhh…” It was silent, but it was the most amazing thing we’d see that night.

Before we went in for the night, my wife had counted more than a dozen of the shorter white streaks of light, and I had lost count. Being raised in a generation that relates its real experiences to the movies we’ve seen, we both had the slight sensation that we had watched a really good special effects show, but it was real. Somewhere, miles over us, tiny rocks and ice were hitting the atmosphere and blasting into light across the sky. It was amazing.

From the very first one, I could not get out of my head the line from this Murry the Bug poem that says, “Streaks of Light like Heaven’s Scars…” Well, I can sing it because I know how the music goes. Most of Murry’s poems have no music, but I wrote this one into a song some years ago, and it remains both cheesy and incredibly sweet. So, whether you saw the meteor shower or not, I will here share with you the poem I was singing all that night, as I enjoyed the sweet wonder of the world right outside my door, and up.

Not So Very Long Ago

Dancing through a field of plastic flowers, Eating up days and tasting the hours

Wearing our torn sheets while clouds offer showers, Pouring the milk of life till it sours

Streaks of light like heaven’s scars are meteors from out past Mars

You and I caught falling stars and took them home in small glass jars

We held hands, we held our breath, Living life and taunting death

The sun was shining in our eyes, We danced until the moon did rise

the skies put on a dozen shows- the summers burned the winters froze

winter’s flakes fell on our nose, the summer’s sand between our toes

Running away from fear and disease, falling in love and skinning our knees

chasing the sun as it climbed through the trees, we did what was right, we did as we please

the past did fade as we did grow- time has flown away like a crow

but we will dance again, this I know, like we did not so very long ago

-Murry the Bug (2001)

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