The sky is eternal dark—
Black as Erebus
An abyss of nothingness
Devoid of the faintest glimmer of stars

The ground is eternal light—
Bright as Apollo
An abyss of nothingness
Devoid of any presentiment of life

Only dust, dust, dust
And millions of craters
On the bleak surface
Of the silvery moon

Only dust, dust, dust
And a tranquil sea
On the bleak surface
Of the silvery moon

Only dust, dust, dust
And hollow hills
On the bleak surface
Of the silvery moon

But on the edge of the horizon—
A pale, blue sphere
Peaks above vapid flats
And desolate sky

A stranger to the darkness
It dances delicately
Upon the lunar shore
And sparkles in a glorious jubilee

Life—breathing, beating, bleeding
Loving, lasting, loathing
Flowering, fasting, fighting
Struggling, smiling, surviving

Life—in all its infinite capacity
For good and evil
Creation and destruction—
Thriving on planet Earth

A glinting sapphire
Alone and incongruous
Writhing in the great emptiness
And stillness

A jewel that harbors all life—
Great and small
Complex and simplistic
Regardless of any artificial preconditions

Where everything is connected—
The wind, rain, and sea
All work in harmony
Inside Earth’s glass sphere

All eight billion humans—
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist
American, Venezuelan, Chinese, Zimbabwean
Wealthy, impoverished, educated, illiterate

All eight billion humans
Live, loathe, love, and laugh
While cradled by the tiny azure moonstone
Drifting through nothingness

Our differences are hollow and trifling—
Race, religion, and politics are but
A superficial and inconsequential
Arbitrary divide

For we are all one:
United in our struggles
United in our griefs
United in our passions

For we are all one:
One expression of life
One human conscious
One beating soul of humanity

For we are all one:
Dust, dust, dust
From dust we came
And to dust we shall return.

The inspiration for this poem was a famous picture that I came across recently of the Earth rising over the horizon of the moon — an “Earthrise.” In this poem, I wanted to portray that perspective — seeing Earth as it had never been seen before in all its beauty, connectedness, and vivacity, juxtaposed to the cold, infinite, lifeless moon and universe. The brightness of the moon obscures the sky so that it does in fact appear completely black when one is near the surface; this interesting physical fact plays quite nicely in developing the contrast not only between the sky and the moon, but also between the moon, sky, and blue Earth. I also play off of the prevalence of dust on the moon in terms of how dust — at its most basic sense referring not only to moon dust but also to stardust — is the basic building block for all life and physical structure in the universe; I use this fact to serve as the perfect metaphor for the intimate connection between all life — and death.

A great piece of music that truly exemplifies the core of my poem is “Baba Yetu” by Christopher Tin. If there ever was an anthem of humanity, it would be “Baba Yetu.” You may listen to the piece below.

The stunning “Baba Yetu” by Christopher Tin.