The Milky Way


Without Stars

Genesis tells us God made
the stars, but now one-third
of us no longer can see our
Milky Way. Lights ignite
streets, porches, parking lots.
Pondering night skies lost.

Circadian rhythms interrupted.

Without stars there is no
season to turn, turn, turn to.
Maple, birch, beech not
signaled it’s time for leaves
to blush and fall. Creates crop
cycle confusion, hunger spreads.

Without darkness, stars, moon—
moth, owl, bat, don’t know if it’s
night or noon, lose sight distracted
by so much light, deranged can’t
find their prey. Lured by overglow
disoriented sea turtles can’t locate
nests. Frog mate enticing auditory
croaks silenced. Salmon, trout,
lampreys in doubt. Birds smash
into high-rises, electrical towers.

American Medical Association
concerned about human
links to obesity, insomnia, mental
health issues, heart disease, cancer.

Has light pollution increased society’s violence?
Soon will stargazing only be possible
in planetariums and North Korea?
Does Edison look down and rue his invention?

—Jill G. Hall

Published by The Poetry Box
in The Poeming Pigeon, A Literary Journal of Poetry
The Cosmos Issue, Winter 2020

Without Stars