Space is


Space is

what isn’t .

The bits inside


around the edges.

The bits we don’t see

a void to be filled

by something more worthy.


In the space between things

stars grow and wild grasses.

Stray cats take the sun

and sparrows squabble.

Flowers grow tall and unheeded

around unwanted white goods

and the rusting carcasses of old vans.


When all space was ours

we wandered the zone between

and found wonder in tiny forgotten things.

The sun fell on our faces

and the soft rain

and our ears were full of birdsong

and the crooning of the stars

on moonless nights.


Now there is your space

and my space

two planets orbiting

never to touch.

My space fills

with memories of you

and the colour of your touch

the chatter of sparrows

and the swift sweet scent of thyme.

And your space

swings out of reach

arid and empty

to join the great vastness

of the place in between

the beating of broken hearts.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

7 thoughts on “Space is”

  1. I like the concept of the relationship as a solar system. Men and women are different indeed and go on their own orbit, yet at the end of it all they need each other.

    1. It’s the emptiness of space that I find frightening, and the idea of drifting in a void that stretches into infinity. As you say, we need one another if only as a point of attraction so we don’t drift into nothing.

      1. You’re right Jane, the infinite vastness of it all and little old us stuck somewhere on the edge. I’ve always been fascinated with Space, even as a small boy wondering where it all came from. A bit like relationships, we’re all in it together and basically have no idea what it’s all about. 🙂

  2. The emptiness fascinates, which is why I find the last part of this poem most poignant:

    … and your space

    swings out of reach

    arid and empty

    to join the great vastness

    of what is in-between (how I’m reading this)

    the beating of ( I don’t think you need ‘broken’) hearts …

    1. I see what you mean. Perhaps it is egging the pudding. I think the last line needs and extra beat or two though. I’ll see if I come up with a more subtle word than ‘broken’.

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