Sidewalk Asters
Thomas Belton

Sidewalk Asters

Asters line the walk like exploded purple stars
In the stiff wind that leans them inviolate, braced

As if the threads of the universe pull them onward
Into a green pool of light, sudden and determinate,

Life’s sap placing its thumb print upon their startled faces:

Ecstatic dreaming in the warm month of
Summer, tongue licking them upright and waving

By the river bulrushes, sweeping in pendulum
Thrusts of brown fuzzy-headed arcs that hiss and whisper

As if their metronomic strikes could crease time’s pool,
Send ripples upon the air in circumsensitive dreaming

Like the God Pan washing his hooves in a muddy slip of water.

Thomas Belton

has extensive publications in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, magazine feature writing, science writing, and journalism. His professional memoir, Protecting New Jersey's Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State (Rutgers University Press), was awarded "Best Book in Science Writing for the General Public" by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.