Sun Pillar
Photo from NOAA photo library. Photographer: Rear Admiral Harley D. Nygren (ret.)

       An Agnostic Physicst Muses Upon the Dawn

                                Peter Shor

The dark line parting earth and sky starts bleeding red,
And as we watch, the bloodstains through the heavens spread
Until a rush of crimson drowns the night;

And now the east dissolves in streaks of brilliant fire,
And now we see, first on the brim, then rising higher,
The wounded sun, pierced by a shaft of light.

Oh, tell me, was this merely scattering, refraction,
Celestial mechanics, and nuclear reaction,
Or was there some intent behind this sight?

I suspect the meteorological phenomenon the agnostic physicist saw was a sun pillar.
See the picture above for an example of one. And here is an webpage with a picture
of an unusual sun pillar that matches the description in the poem more closely (although
it doesn't seem to be public domain, so I didn’t use it).

On the other hand, what do I know? I’m just the author, and if you think I know what
the poem means, you are succumbing to the intentional fallacy.