Aphelion Issue 242, Volume 23
August 2019
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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by J. B. Toner

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament declareth His handiwork.
-Psalm 19:1

Galactic miles, untracked exile,
The vacuum-silence, empty space—
Dead flares once hurled from glaring worlds,
Now barren pearls bereft of grace—
A swirling stair unfurled through air-
less whorls, uncaring brooding wastes—
A skylong wrack, an aisle of black,
A smiling, hacking, drooling face.

In elder days, the stellar ways
(Ere Hell’s decays, ere sin and time)
Long rang with blessed language, guests
Who sang in vestments all sublime;
Celestial jangles, jests and wran-
gles, zesty clangor filled those climes
With blazing bells and quasars’ yells,
All raised to swell the praise Divine.

To dive through this athrive abyss
Might shrive or twist our hearts, which flow
With dread’s dark brine and red rich wine
From heady shrines where wonder glows.
Each mind star-sped shall find a dead-
end sign, or head down Heaven’s road—
Shall listen, strive, persist, arrive,
Where its true driving self must go.

2019 J. B. Toner

J. B. Toner studied Literature at Thomas More College, holds a black belt in Kenpo-Jujitsu, and just had his first daughter, Sonya Magdalena Rose. All that remains is for him to achieve eternal fame through his poetry. Thanks for reading!

Find more by J. B. Toner in the Author Index.

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