One of the UK’s best known poets was commissioned by the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities to pen a poem celebrating the wonders of the county’s dark skies in 2017.
Ian McMillan – the ‘Bard of Barnsley’ – has drawn on his observations of stargazing, as well as the special qualities of the night sky in the areas of low light pollution found in both stunning national parks, to write this tribute. Watch the 'Bard' himself reading the poem here.
A poem for the National Parks and their Dark Skies Festival
In praise of darker skies and lighter thinking
The darker the sky, the more you can see;
The blacker the night, the brighter the Moon,
The dimmer the streets, the stronger the glow
The deeper the shade, the lighter the view.
The map of the heavens, the time and the space
The distance they travel, the cities of stars,
The trail of a comet, the satellite’s stroll
The football of Venus, the beach ball of Mars.
The blindness of headlights, the dazzling fire
The hint of a sunrise, the dawn’s subtle kiss,
The straining of tired eyes, the lamp in the face
The struggle to notice, the sights we all miss.
The hope for the future: the sky’s welcome gleam,
The Milky Way’s jewels, the meteor’s trail
The old constellations, the space-station’s glint.
The inky sea’s waiting; the night boat sets sail!
© Ian McMillan @IMcMillan