The Comet Is My Mistress
The comet is my mistress.
Silent siren, her beauty beckons;
I chase her through several seasons, several skies, several lands.
Many nights I have spent in her cold embrace,
Yet no matter how far I go, how long I admire with eyes uplifted,
She eludes capture, her aloofness mocking my attentions.
She is but a transient, allowed only a brief moment in the sun,
Within view of appreciative eyes,
But doomed to return too soon to the distant, empty reaches.
In her passing she leaves only these faint imprints;
They are not something to be touched, but reflections
I can only yearn towards from afar.
I awaken and my hand closes upon empty space;
The echoing call of this heartless wanderer fades.
Gone, gone -- but forever haunting my memory.
Comet Hale-Bopp with Milky Way and North America Nebula
March 9, 1997, 4:52am, Florence, Arizona
Camera: Canon AE-1 35mm SLR, on homemade tracker.
Film: Kodak Ektachrome P1600 slide
Exposure length: 4 minutes
Scanned by Rick Scott using a Nikon Coolscan LS-10E 35mm film scanner.
This photograph appeared on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site on April 13, 2000. To see a large version, click on the photo at that site.
This photograph was also published in Robert Burnham's book "Great Comets," published by Cambridge University Press.
Publishers! A high-resolution version of this image is immediately available. For details click here.
Revised: July 18, 2005
Copyright © 2000 Joe Orman
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