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A Binary Fantasy

August 11, 2014


1) For best effect, please listen here  to “Pas de deux” from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker while reading this poem.

It is February 14, Valentine’s Day.

Couples around the world
are celebrating
their love for one another,
while I am by myself,
wondering if I ever will understand
the true meaning of love,
if love will ever possess
my being in its totality.

And it is then that
a binary star system,
locked in an eons-long dance,
falls from the sky.

Even in their dying moments,
they can’t bear
to be parted
and are continuing
the cosmic tango.

Fittingly enough,
faint strains of “Pas de deux”
float from someone’s window.

I have always found
this music
so poignantly tragic,
suffused with yearning pain,
as if a portent
of some great calamity.
Only now is it clear to me
what tragedy
it was presaging.

The celestial romance
of a billion years,
that trivialises
all earthly declarations
of eternal love,
is coming to an end. 

If you combined all the love
every couple in the world
are feeling for each other
on this special day,
it would be but
an infinitesimal fraction
of the passion
these two stars
have for one another.

So sensitive
have they become
to each other’s needs
that the slightest change
in the mood of one
is instantly
felt and responded to
by the other,
even when separated
by millions of miles
of emptiness.

I realise
how futile
human love is;
so transitory,
obeying no law
of Man or Nature,
following arcane rules
known only to itself,
stubbornly lumbering
along its own intractable course.

I am convinced
I am destined to be 
forever alone,
for we all pass each other
and then continue along
our divergent paths.

The most I can hope for
is fleeting contact,
a feeble reflection
of that cosmic tango,
with another being.

Now I finally understand
the true meaning of love:
it has no meaning at all.


1) A binary star system consists of two stars orbiting around their common centre of mass, as can be seen in the image below.




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  1. That last picture is awesome.

    • thanks Pam! Any thoughts about the poem?

      • Not even fair to ask. I’m not a lover of poetry. I often don’t even understand it.

        • Well, I try to make my poetry as clear as possible in all cases, including in the case of this poem! I don’t play language games or try to be obscure for obscurity’s sake.

  2. Wonderful image! Wish I’d thought of it!

    • thank you Doug. This poem is from a series of poems that I am writing about planets, the Sun and other celestial objects falling in my backyard.

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