Calum Taylor looks at the stars. Artwork by Luci Mullen.


I wasn’t sure when we looked straight up

To the flag of sky over our heads

Whether that pattern of stars was already there –

Sewn sparks, set from the sun –

Or was woven from our own making.


Then the river, cloudless, with its slow-acting stillness

Threw back the fractals, glinted,

And brought in new shapes:

Orion’s necklace, Leo’s crown,


Points of reference. Sites for new renown, perhaps,

Play into our eyes with that self-same reminder –

We make our own maps.


And this bench, here in its present state

Exists only for its surroundings.

Worn branch, canal barge, autumn tree,

Bridge. Glance. Twist of fate.


The pattern starts from you to there

And, breathless, starts again with me.


You told me once under stations of starlight,

Spun me a thread that I can’t reel back

About a pattern, a series of shapes and signs,

Tiles upon tiles that carries on forever,

Sites and sights turning endlessly new.


That’s right here, up there,

All the things we can do.

Shallows upon depths, depths

Upon shallows, lights upon

Streets, skies beyond you.

All lies within reach the places we keep –


You can’t split the eye from the view.