They Say
—a poem by Andrew Weatherly

They say 
‘space is empty’
‘near absolute zero’
‘nothing for millions of miles’
But my hopes shot like hunting arrows
at the moon and missing
heading toward Aldebaran heat seeking
though simple shafts from just one bow
its the seven billion human shafts
aimed at the mystery of the moon
or the flaming flares of the sun
bouncing off and radiating out
spearing Mars’ armor and Venus’ cherub
ringing Saturn’s icy grains
popping Jupiter in his burnt eye
going to frozen hell with demoted Pluto
thumbing a ride on a comet to a frozen paradise 
Those 100,000 years of human aims
targeted at bears in the sky
carried on Pegasus’ wings
fixing the center of the Southern Cross
or impaling its cardinal points
stigmatizing bleeding hopes across heavens
Dark void a myth
punctured by trillions of hopes and fears
dreams and stories
so pregnant with so many notions
it’s amazing it doesn’t just fall over
from the weight of so much loaded up on out
raining back to Earth
shooting stars efflorescing into fireflies
inspiring another arrow

Andrew Weatherly hears inspiration from the trees, the wind, his students and kids, as well as from other poets. He is blessed to live in the hood, teach in prison, and dance in the streets in Asheville, NC. He’s been published in Appalachian Broadsides, Katuah Journal, Belle Reve, Axe Factory, Former People, Danse Macabre, and Cordite and recently lead a workshop at the National Association for Poetry Therapy conference.