As New Age Thought on spiritualism gathered momentum at the close of the 20th century, The appearance of the comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 seemed to herald the dawning of a New Age of Consciousness. Every night I would climb to the terrace and look at the dark star-spangled night sky and search for that wonder visible to the naked eye unaided. It seemed to stir something deep within me, as stellar events inevitably do. It was after all not just a bright star, or Mars at its closest trajectory to earth. The luminous tail of the comet in the sky gave the appearance of something furiously on the move in the heavens – not a static star but a moving rocketing one. Doubtless it moved many to poetry. With me the analogy of the comet being the emerging New Age Consciousness was uppermost and so I composed a poem:


                     H A L E – B O P P


Comet in the sky,

You smite me distant traveller

With some strange nostalgia,

Far away going away

Every night for a while.


Comet in the sky,

Your light has tanned

My naked eye,

Touched my retina

With a new age,

Borrowing into my mind.


You surprise

Like a fleeting train

In the wilderness

Hurtling on its way.


Siberian crane,

You fill me with a strange passion

For your lonely furious pilgrimage

To another millennium.


Guiding us to another age,

Visitor from the future,

Your searing glorious passage,

Primordial image,

Like a messiah come

To disturb our settled equilibrium.