by Helen Burke
It is time we owned up.
It is you, your very selves that
are the things we steer by.
Your mortal souls that guide us westward.
Long have we plotted our uncertain course
by the knowledge of you.
You who have been here long before us.
You who will be here long after we
small wizened fry, are gone.
Carefully, by groups of three or four of you,
where so strategically you are placed,
(often you actually LOOK like something),
we can be sure of all our routes.
Be certain of the great divide.
To fall off the edge is not our wish.
So it is, that today, the stars salute you.
We say too, that – in a certain light
and on the clearer nights –
you are, quite beautiful.
Helen Burke has been writing and publishing poems for 25 years. She has just won the Sheffield Festival PoetStars Prize and second prize in Ilkley Lit. Fest performance, which she has won on two previous occasions. She had a show at the Edinburgh Festival this year which was rated highly starred by the Scotsman.