In Sir Arthur’s Parlor

(Inspired by Ode to the Maker of Odes, and by a brief visit with Sir Arthur C. Clarke, in his home in Colombo.)

In Sir Arthur’s Parlor
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2006
June 5, 2008

The hand that grasped the rungs
down the gravity well into Rama,
held up a bone to tap
on a black monolith,
and held the pen
that wrote the stories of my youth,
clasped mine, for just that moment.

That hand, robbed of all its strength
by the long years,
but which gave its strength
to a constellation of dreams,
including mine.

I held it gently
afraid to bruise
that which had created
the worlds in which I spent my childhood.

The eyes that stared into space
full of stars
for just that moment looked into mine,
saw me
as a fellow writer.