Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Turtles Watching the Stars

by Robert S. King


Some say our eyes make everything smaller

like looking down the wrong end of a telescope

where watery lights of stars swim

at the top of a well,

light years away but liquid as dream,

reflective bubbles orbiting far above

our shell-shocked past.


We do not want outsiders close

enough to touch,

just close enough to dream of,

where our own sky is the limit.

Their shells explode against ours,

barely heard.


We seldom make a move

in our mobile homes,

in our private pleasure domes,

and the scenery is better in oblivion

and in dream.


We never magnify.

We only multiply slowly,

and none from our eggs will fly.


We’re old soldiers cowering under helmets,

gazing at the static heavens

on the ceilings of our shells.