Earthbound: the Edmonton Meteorite

     Find/Fall: Find
Date Collected: 1939
Locality Collected: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Latitude/Longitude: 53°35’N 113°30’W
University of Alberta Museums Meteorite Collection

History burned, a fusion
of dust and light, an alien velocity
before dark flight
and a cold, quotidian thump
on soft earth.
A find
bound to a farmer’s field, the fall
lost or unobserved until a plough
unearthed deep space,
set “Edmonton” in heavenly orbit.
A still field, a plough, a bucked
furrow, and a farmer — his bent back
charting space, his calloused hands
gauging the heft of a strange
unworldly weight.
A dog-eared notebook,
a rock hammer, and a geologist — his knees
aching in the Earth’s pull, his fingers
tracing magnetic storms, solar winds,
the numb drift of ancient rock.
History is a clumsy narrative;
naming more so: an earthbound blueprint,
billions of years stilled by warm hands,
now nomenclature for a prairie town
and university.
A story
of dust and drought, of faiths in soil,
the fracture of knowledge and place —
the distant fall of burning metal
a global revelation.

~ Jonathan Meakin

Jonathan Meakin writes poetry and fiction and dabbles in small press publishing. He co-founded and co-edited The Olive reading and chapbook series and has had poems and reviews published in England and Canada. Jonathan has worked as a communications specialist, university instructor, and arts administrator, and is currently the literary and media arts development consultant for the Government of Alberta. Current writing projects include a burgeoning poetry manuscript, a short story cycle, and a cultural history of textual intersections between English-Canadian landscapes, recreation, tourism and publishing. He’s also a very proud dad.

“‘Earthbound: The Edmonton Meteorite’ is from a series of poems called ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. This series began as a response to museum objects housed at the University of Alberta Museums; more specifically, the poems are meditations on the stories and the value (of all forms) invested in these museum objects.”

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

2 Responses to “Earthbound: the Edmonton Meteorite”

  1. Nice poem!

  2. Thanks, Ian. I’m still not happy with that final stanza and so will fiddle with it further.

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