Distance by Anthony


How many miles to Babylon?
Threescore and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
Yes, and back again.

How long is a mile? How tall is a tree?
If I climb to the top, how far can I see?
Can I see to China, can I see to Rome?
Can I see over the treetops, all the way to home?

When seen from the distance the Earth is a ball
when seen from the heavens all of us are quite small
From Mars it appears a blue star in the sky
We look at the vastness of space and ask: Why?

How far can I wander? To where can I go?
To escape from his love who made all things below?
If I had wings of a dove to carry me far
I never could get half as far as a star.

The dancers spin through the Galaxies round—
Are they singing on high, or making no sound?
Keeping their distance, in the blackness they fall.
Yet never beyond the voice of his call.


I’m not really thrilled with this one. A bit too sing-song. But the other one I was working on didn’t really ever gel. So we’ll go with this.

9 Responses to Distance

  1. Zagorka March 21, 2020 at 10:04 am #

    Well, I like it 🙂 It is somehow like a wise poem for children, as some of the A.A. Milne’s ones are. So: thank you! Thinking of you here from Germany and wishing you peace in your soul.

    • Melanie Bettinelli March 21, 2020 at 10:56 am #

      Thank you, Zagorka. You’re very kind.

      I think I do like it for what it is, like you say, a children’s poem. Maybe my dissatisfaction was not so much for this poem itself as that there was a second poem behind this one that was not the same kind of poem and I couldn’t get it to come into focus? But maybe since I’ve published this one, I can dig that one out later?

      Peace be with you, too.

  2. bearing March 21, 2020 at 11:48 am #

    I like children’s poems. This one is nice. And Anthony’s illustration goes with it somehow. He’s got real talent for thinking outside the box in what to draw.

    • Melanie Bettinelli March 21, 2020 at 11:10 pm #

      Thank you.

      I really do like his thinking out of the box brainstorming.

  3. Jill March 21, 2020 at 9:48 pm #

    The “sing-song” comment inspired me to put your words to music. That was fun. Here it is if you’d like to listen. https://soundcloud.com/jenn-lee-15/distance

    • Melanie Bettinelli March 21, 2020 at 11:58 pm #

      Thank you so much! That is lovely. I’ve never had any of my words put to music, I feel quite honored.

  4. Emily J March 23, 2020 at 6:45 pm #

    Love this! And the musical setting. What a treat. It sounds familiar and yet all its own.

  5. Emily J March 23, 2020 at 6:46 pm #

    This is beautiful. Simple, yet stirring. I also like the musical setting. What a treat. It sounds familiar and yet all its own.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes