Out There

If space begins at an indefinite zone
where the chance of two gas molecules colliding
is rarer than a green dog or a blue moon
then that’s as near as we can get to nothing.
 
Nostalgia for the earth and its atmosphere
weakens the flesh and bones of cosmonauts.
One woke to find his crewmate in a space suit
and asked where he was going. For a walk.
 
He had to sleep between him and the air-lock.
Another heard a dog bark and a child cry
halfway to the moon. What once had been
 
where heaven was, is barren beyond imagining,
and never so keenly as from out there can
the lost feel earth’s the only paradise.

from Out There (Faber, 2012), © Jamie McKendrick 2012, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Jamie McKendrick

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1Nostalgia

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2Sky Nails

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3On the Volcano

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4Et in Orcadia Ego

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5Ancient History

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6Six Characters in Search of Something

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7The One Star

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8Gainful Employment

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9Gardener’s World

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10Apotheosis

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11Oil and Blood

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12Chrome Yellow

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13Beyond

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14Sea Salt

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15A Mole of Sorts

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16Singing Lessons

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17The Needful

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18The Canary Principle

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19Polonius

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20Unfaded

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21Twain

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22Vocations

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23An Encroachment

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24The Book of Names

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25Out There

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26The Perils

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27Teazles

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28The Gate

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29The Literalist

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30The Meeting House

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31The Judgement

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32Cofiwch Dryweryn

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33Epithets

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34Stricken Proverbs

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Books by Jamie McKendrick