Archived: Eye in the Sky by Zoey Bankston

This poem is an ekphrasis on this image of the Southern Ring Nebula taken by the James Webb Space Telescope:

Rusty eye sailing on Argo’s Vela,
peering down upon Earth from the heavens,
watching Romans trade silk and spice across
continents. The web finally peers back.

The sky iris has deformed through time. The
soul of the stellar pupil is seen through the
cloudy death of its cold plasma center. 

The audience of righteous view the grim
performance from the beginning of time.
Each await their own ghastly end
as their octuple arms reach each other for support.

Biography: Ever since high school, I have used writing as an outlet to help me process my emotions throughout many turbulent moments in my life. I graduated from high school back in 2015 and dropped out of community college quickly to focus on work. However, after Covid hit in 2020, I lost my job and I struggled to find work elsewhere, leading me to return to college at AIMS in 2021. Throughout that time, I found solace again through writing and reading, which was part of my inspiration to become an English major here, to be able to better use literature and writing to express myself, and to eventually be able to teach it. I am constantly trying to find new sources of inspiration for my style, with my primary inspiration for the works here coming from John Keats and William Faulkner; however, I’ve been recently exploring works written beyond American-British works, in particular Latin-American, Welsh and Irish, and Asian authors. I believe literature can let us experience things we otherwise would never see, and I will continue to write to be able to bring others into those worlds shaped by my own experiences.