Return From Space, a poem by Charlie Bottle at
Mantas Hesthaven

Return From Space

Return From Space

written by: Charlie Bottle



I have returned from visiting space
as I clean from my beach slippers
the beige crystalline sand,
that was once awash in waters
of the ocean,
and the days of sunlight
in the space between the ocean and the beach,
I remember the space of sea, sun, coconut trees
and faces gladly serving smiles and cold drinks,
and conversations about learning and knowing
all that makes us as us, and we as we.

I have returned from space
as I purge receipts, boarding passes, baggage tags
from the ethnocentric baggage, I carried with me
as essentials in the suitcases, I lugged
between airports and hotels, bellhops and porters
I remember the drivers in cabs
carrying my precious cargo of the must-haves
on a long journey of not knowing what to expect,
each asking the same question,
each curious about my space asks,
“How is it, where you are,
in the space where we share a common sun?”

I have returned from space
where corn and wheat fields,
give way to rice and millet fields,
apple, oak, maple, and walnut trees
give way to coconut and mango trees,
the rain though the same is warmer,
the sunsets, dramatic as ever
after thunderstorms have passed
lighting the riotous skies,
in shades of oranges, yellows, and blues
and the faces that work the fields,
curiously ask, “Do people who grow corn there,
do they have teeth strong enough to eat?”

I have returned from space
your space, where we shared a common time
and as I look at souvenirs and gifts
I think of the hands that made them
of the hearts that with love gave them,
I think of love shared as smiles, laughter at meals,
the refreshing conversations,
and mountains we climbed
to see other snow-capped mountains,
and islands shaped like palms,
of visions of making sand castles in the sea,
and I think of things, Like, what it would be
if humanity could work for its common good
and I dream of frameworks of humanity,
working in unity to preserve our earth’s diversity
where our singular sun traverses the skies for all of us.

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