networds

Alien Lights by Lawrence Reed

This New Year night's so pallid, so cold,
so insipid and so Covid-quiet.
An uninspired backdrop for alien lights.
. . . But there they glow,
scintillating off the low, leaden cloud-base.
Light that this Earth doesn't know.
Hues from an unknown rainbow
that might arc in some distant galaxy,
foretelling a different covenant.
 
My roving glance locates the source: a spacecraft!
I'm transfixed at once, in a tight, trippy trance,
immovable against its intoxicating presence.
Like some vulnerable dazed prey,
frozen in defensive stance,
awaiting an apex predator’s prancing pounce.
 
The other-worldly lights ripple and dance.
 
On closer investigation, I would say
it’s a tear-shaped machine,
thin, smooth, nebulous and unclean.
A sick, deathly, waxen sheen,
slick against the thick matt-grey canopy.
 
       As if the sky
       had squeezed out
       a metallic teardrop
       trying to cry.
 
More illuminations appear: four cream light-beams
streaming from the blunter end,
which I presume to be the rear.
But why emit these rays right now, right here?
Maybe a queer extraterrestrial message.
A quartet of straight fine shafts peers,
equidistant and parallel,
with seemingly pointless laser precision
illuminating nothing clear
except the infinite, gloomy aerosphere.
 
       Still it sits, silent and surreal.
       Suspended in an aureloa of alien light.
       Going nowhere,
       with me its only witness.
 
I remain riveted in a tight embrace,
trying to surmise its size and mission.
A small jet-plane’s length perhaps.
Has it come to save me or our race
from our pandemic predicament
or climate disgrace. . . so soon?
From what planet or place?
The deepest ocean? Outer space?
The darker side of the moon?
 
            Or has it been there
            all along
            for eons,
            but cloaked
            Invisible,
            until now?
 
My neck is weak from staring up.
Mysteries unsolved, the hourglass flips.
I feel queasy from being mysteriously revolved.
Now, crouched with knees creaking,
gazing down into some bleak, pallid pool,
with a poor, freakish, wan flatfish
inert, eyeless and eerie,
on its streaked, dismal floor.
Lights of a bathysphere scan the depths.
The halo turns a milky violet,
dissolved on the edges of our visible spectrum.
The picture has evolved.
 
       I avow that I saw them, then and now:
       lights from a different spectrum,
       the corona of some odd god.
       Only a little catalytic alcohol involved.
 
As I stare, time has been warping weirdly,
hoodwinking my rare, scant sanity.
Then, in a caring farewell, it kinks
back into its invariable familiar constant.
Linked once more to our earthly laws.
I blink and my spirit gently sinks
as the strange glow is smeared.
Blink-blink-blink as my eyes clear from the violet ink.
I lose a sense of everything I might have feared
and look again, and think: that was weird.
And see that the zinc-tinted ship,
the gleaming beams
and the radiant nimbus of lights,
have disappeared.