Considerations in the Umbra

Tendrils reach outward, say,
“I am here, always.”
Relative darkness, the key.

Emission standards do not apply.

Plasma temperature in excess of one
million kelvin will not aid in circulation.

What does a crater care?
Still rimmed with shadow,
its light is a mere reflection.

When orienting a sundial
on the moon, factor in
earthlight, keep clear of dust.

Disregard when crossing the terminator.

Cicadas anticipate end of totality.
Shadows shift as tendrils
recede. Crescent phase begins.

Passing thoughts take root.

Ken Gierke started writing poetry in his forties, but found new focus when he retired. It also gave him new perspectives, which come out in his poetry, primarily in free verse and haiku. His work has appeared at Vita Brevis, The Ekphrastic Review and Tuck Magazine. His website:

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14 Responses to Considerations in the Umbra

  1. rivrvlogr says:

    More than a year later, I still try to wrap my mind around the sensation of witnessing a full solar eclipse.
    Thank you for providing a home for this.

    Ken G

  2. Pingback: Poem at Eunoia Review | rivrvlogr

  3. merrildsmith says:

    Wonderful, Ken–darkness and light and the pondering of what it all means.

  4. delphini510 says:

    Ken, I so understand your awe and will never forget experiencing a full exlipse either.
    The birds stop singing, it gets chilly, all quiet….
    Your poem describes the event so beautifully. And I love this ” Cicadas anticipate end of totality ”


  5. The first four lines hit me like a fine landscape. So different, so same. Image and reflect.
    You knocked me out of the park. Then, line by line, contrast by same, you bent me back home to our little planet. Oh my. I hope I get to see an eclipse in the 2024 to come.

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