Poems to Reflect the Beauty and Immensity of the Lyrid Meteor Shower
Lyrids, one of the oldest known meteor showers, light up the sky every April, peaking late in the month. The Lyrid meteor showers leave glowing dust trains of debris behind them from the Comet Thatcher, a welcome sight for those who have been aching for a good meteor shower over the past several months. Its bright and flowing light inspires those who get the chance to watch, and it’s no surprise that such meteor showers would be the muse of poets everywhere.
In honor of this year’s Lyrid Meteor Shower, which will be visible on April 21 and 22, here are two meteor shower-inspired poems to set the mood. The first is a beautiful description of a soul experiencing the Lyrids for themselves. The second is a more reflective piece on humanity as a whole and what we have in common with the light show that draws our eyes to the skies.
1. the lyrids – Joanna Garrido
listen for lyre music
as wrap up warm to gaze
upon the strings of orpheus
his fingers as he plays
the lyra constellation
to the north, night skies
meteors called lyrids
in space materialise
hurl into earth’s atmosphere
fireballs of light
these april showers beat the rain,
a spectacular sight
visible if nights are clear
to the naked eye
shooting, guns a-blazing
streaking trails up high
search above for vega,
lyra’s brightest star
in celestial veils of darkness
the lyrids from afar
I love how this piece draws readers into the experience of witnessing a Lyrid meteor shower. Garrido transports readers with her beautiful and descriptive prose, creating a lovely tribute to the breathtaking meteor shower. This piece is filled with awe and an appreciation for the history of Lyrid showers, which gives novice or veteran meteor-gazers a poem that complements and captures the moment so well.
2. Meteor Shower – Clint Smith
I read somewhere that meteor showers
are almost always named after
the constellations from which
they originate. It’s funny, I think,
how even the universe is telling us
that we can never get too far
from the place that created us.
How there is always a streak of our past
trailing closely behind us
like a smattering of obstinate memories.
Even when we enter a new atmosphere,
become subsumed in flames, turn to dust,
lose ourselves in the wind, and scatter
the surface of all that rests beneath us,
we bring a part of where we are from
to every place we go.
This poem is the perfect complement to Garrido’s Lyrid-inspired poem because it gives readers something profound to think about as they marvel at the immensity of what they’re seeing. I love how Smith compares a meteor shower’s journey with our own journeys, reflecting on how we carry certain pieces of ourselves with us, no matter where we go. The “streaks of our past” can be contemplated as we watch those beautiful Lyrids streak across the sky, strengthening our appreciation for both.
Nature often inspires poetry, filling us with wonder and awe as we reflect on the universe and our place in it. I hope both of these poems bring you a sense of joy and excitement as you look to the skies this April.
Enjoy The Lyrids, friends! Happy meteor-gazing!