Stargazing in the Amazon

by Felipe Restrepo

The beauty of this experience
Is not knowing when magnificence will appear.
Two weeks ago we stumbled, fell, and bled
With mud and sweat dripping down our face
Along the march to our current place:

An Earth-bound paradise;
A world of grandiosity at every step
And novelty along each turn.
With the rising sun comes the howler’s deep roar,
And with the waking of the stars, the anurans’ nightly song.
A continuous cacophony of organic beasts,
Each exemplifying its ability to thrive
In a place where death is nigh.
And yet the diversity of Life,
Is relentless despite the strife.

Tonight, alone in the canoe,
Prostrate, as I gaze up at the sky
Without a single light nearby
To obstruct the path of starlight,
I see, not just the splendor of the night,
But the vast measures of His might.
Though I know not what, or how, He is
A sense of kinship ignites my bliss—
I am a part of the expanse I see
as much as the Universe is a part of me.

And within my mind,
I focus in on the radiant lords I see:
A perpetual silver snarl of heat,
Each speck, a furiously burning fire
Altogether torching a trillion tons of gas with ire
In immense regions of space
More inhospitable than any other place.
But still, the abysmal cosmic depth
Is more alive than our Earth .
Indeed, its infinite flickering presence salutes you
And despite the clamors, howls, and croaks of the Amazonian night
The celestial eyes, suspended beyond the engulfing darkness, remove all fright

Alas, soon it will be time to part
From this place so dear to the heart.
And the uncertainty of my return,
Re-sparks my willingness to learn
About the subjects that I yearn.


Felipe-Restrepo-Aug-26Felipe Restrepo was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. Since his family owned a large farm at the time, he spent a major portion of his childhood in the jungle and mountains, particularly on horseback. After moving to Miami with his mom, and finishing his high school career, he decided to attend APU as an Environmental Science undergraduate with a minor in Mathematics. Thus far, the experiences he has shared with his peers and mentors at APU have served as an invaluable foundation for his life in the future, both as a scientist and an individual. After graduation in April, he strives to continue to pursue his passion for science, in the hopes that someday his work may contribute to our society in a positive way.


  • TeShawn Anderson-Johnson

    I enjoyed your overall illustration of not only the stars but the earth around you. I also appreciated how you illustrated how nature was apart of you instead of you being above nature. You continue throughout your poem to use extremely great adjectives to describe your overall subject, stars. This poem made me want to be there experiencing this luminous adventure.

  • Christina

    You have a spectacular way with words. I love the way you really paint the picture; I felt like I was in the moment, seeing what your eyes saw in the beautiful Amazon. Reading this reminds me of the times I’ve spent alone in Costa Rica, and the beautiful moments that come and go so quickly in life, you need to stop and take it all in and appreciate everything. You are indeed a talented writer, Felipe.

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