Tourist To The Sun – Virginia Betts

hurtling to the light fantastic

Virginia graduated from Essex University with a degree in Literature, and later gained a postgraduate degree in teaching English. She taught for 15 years, then set up her tuition business, Results Tutoring, where she indulges her passion for literary analysis whilst helping her students to achieve their potential. She is a passionate advocate for neuro-diversity, particularly as she is autistic herself. Alongside this, she writes poetry, articles and stories, making her publishing debut in The Weird and Whatnot, with her short story, The Rented Room. Following this, her poem, An Afternoon Walk, was published in the September 2019 volume of Acumen Literary Journal. The written word creates a visceralsensation in Virginia; poetry is her preferred method of emotional expression and stories often come to her in dreams.Her other obsessions are swimming and violin playing. Virginia is married, with one son, aged 18.

Tourist to the Sun.

Fired-up for take-off,

wearing my asbestos suit, designed to deflect,

I bring with me a cabin full of un-marked baggage for the hold.

Wing walker without a rope,

hurtling to the light fantastic,


First to sign up

to step off the map;

where even the silvery surface is marked by dark spots;

even the brightest star is already dead.

With outstretched arms I 

surrender to the sun,

glide, star-shaped, licked by flicking tongues of flame,

into the white-hot core;

white heat devouring sound,

eclipsing time,

searing conscience and 

annihilating thought.

Not arrogance that brings me here,

but fear.

The elemental need to fly, unfettered,

to pilot my own craft;

to pierce reality,

and seek the truth behind it,

and, in seeking, half expect to find it.

And thus, avoiding bird-strikes,

negotiate safe water-landings

when at last I am earthbound;

within my hand,

a brand to fire my piece of earth’s story

when I return

scorched and burned.

Virginia Betts

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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