No thought of dirt as

Young fingers slid round iron

Rifled in straight and bitter verticals

To stop small boys ascending



The base to space so broad

We could propel those vital

First two feet, and then

With will, and strengthening fingers

And will, and tearing nails

And will, and iron conquered

Hang in space so far

From that ordinary world

Until, with screaming sinews

The blackened hands would

Reach, exhausted

And curling forearms

And sometimes ruined, red jumpers

Take the strain, as gravity reclaimed

It’s filthy child…


Not yet, the iron rang, descending

With secret pride. Not yet, then

Some fell… Some didn’t

Hanging in a line of spine

So straight the passing breeze would tease:

Look children! That joy and will

Have made a loving tangent to

The living Earth…

And then was gone, but watching.


©Stephen Tanham 2020

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at

11 Comments on “A Tangent to the Earth

  1. Oh my goodness. I love this. So reminds me of the youth I have worked with and my own younger brother, and their love of life and the miracle of being a part of this great universe. Every minute was a true joy to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Tangent to the Earth ~ Steve Tanham | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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