Robert Pelgrift is an editor for a legal publisher, working in New York City. His poems have been published in various anthologies and in The Lyric, Rotary Dial, The Galway Review, The Foxglove Journal, The Waggle, Long Island Quarterly and The Eclectic Muse.

Great Minds

How far it is from the star in one’s sight,
dimly seen on the eastern edge of space,
to the bright star that lights the dark blue face
of heaven on the western hem of night.
One’s look from the eastern star to the bright
western star sweeps a triangle to trace
a line, and one sees one’s point of sight race
along the line and dwarf the speed of light.
Great minds have found that the velocity
of any object can never exceed
light’s speed, and they would say that when the eye
moves quickly across the heavens, we see
sight race from star to star at greater speed
than an object could, and they could say why.

An Irish Air

“…the pipes, the pipes are calling …”
— “Danny Boy”

Far below the Cathedral’s heights I pass
a lady minstrel; sweet as softest rain
in sunlight, she sings the song of a lass
and her love and the parting of the twain.

Pure chords from an angel’s harp, her words
lift wavering, but swift as golden lights,
through scales measureless ‘til the pipes are heard
to call sadly across the vaulted heights.

Her song, it climbs to the peaks of my ken,
and there can I hear the distant voice keen,
mourning for the boy torn away from glen
and hill, and from the love of his colleen.

And even to heaven her song is heard to rise
and call from peak to peak through the sad skies.

From Now to Then

I see you over there, so near to here,
you’re really here, or maybe you’re just there,
or there, or over there; you are so near,
your comings and goings still stir the air.

And now I think how simple it should be
to go back a few hours and cross that space
from now to then, or do this differently,
or that, or just look there and see your face.

But now there is no going back to then;
there is no picking up from yesterday
today, or doing things over again;
for there’s not here, and then’s a ways away.

Yet, you’re so near here that you’re still with me,
and then’s still now and not a memory.