The Northern Lights

stunned me. I wasn’t the same after
I stood by a lake, saw white plumes rain
and flare like ghost headlights down an empty street,
the sky throbbing with pulses of green light,
whorls of white, sudden vanishings, flows.
An unseen finger scribbling on the night, like
some god signing its bright name, bleeding
light like ink.
                                                This vision I can
never unsee, even 30 years past, though I just
saw it once, light that shattered all rules—foretaste
of the limitless afterlife? A swirling assault
on a calm sky. For an hour, on
that shore, we watched.  It was humid,
flies bit, but we stared ‘til the last flare died.
                                                                                                                                    Then wind
caressed the lake and we slept, not the same after.




Source lyric, from Bruce Cockburn song “After the Rain”: After the rain in the streets light flows like blood. I can just taste salt on the humid wind.