And the stars wrap around me.
I am born under Capricorn
I grow up under Orion
In the crisp country night
I see black and white.
Under the bright fluorescents of education
I learn what color means.
I get a job
In a room with high speckled ceilings.
I struggle smally.
I see the moon in the mornings
And dappled winter sunsets.
I grow old
Joints from creaks to cries
Complaints from whispers to shouts
My hands grasping at light-pierced blankets
I face my own mortality.
And the stars wrap around me.
To be tiny
Climb a blackberry bush
Step between the large dull thorns
Wave to a passing ant
Ascend the most vibrant cluster of flowers
Swallowed by a profusion of white
Wrap yourself in a petal of living silk.
To be small
Climb a tree
Admire the neighborhood
Wave to a passing plane
Feel the branches bend beneath your weight
Wrap your hands around the sun-warmed wood.
To be insignificant
Climb the surface of a little blue planet
Breathe the miracle of air
Wave to a passing meteor
Wrapped in the inexorable present
Know that your meager vision
Only goes as far
As the neighborhood stars.
Everything starts and ends
With the floor
On the floor
We are born on it
Crawl on it
Walk on it
We die and fall on it
It isn’t really a foundation
It’s just a flat plane
To which we are limited.
Time, the universe, life, death, space
All happen on a plane.
We can only understand this one level of reality
We observe and shape our reality
We should not experiment, only observe
Experiments change the observation
Now we say
Observation changes the experiment
Eventually it all comes around again
Old theories are proven right
Outmoded fashions come back into action
Old thoughts are rethought
Things that are lost get discovered again
Children crawl on the floor
It’s all pretty well impossible to measure
How silly to try.
The ancients who spent their days
Trying to count the stars
Trying to corner knowledge
They really did that
And when do you think
Even if you finish counting what is visible with the naked eye
Then you must move to another pole
And count again.
You may have a telescope
Or you might make a better, stronger one
But one can never
Be done counting the stars
Because the universe may not be infinite
But by the time you reach the edge of it
You are back at the beginning
The number has changed
And you must start
All over again.
So it is in life.
What we measure is immeasurable.
And even if we try
Anything we put in our heads
Will be made head-shaped
And no longer be the thing
That we wished to understand.
The moon dangles low in the sky
Pendulous and swollen with yin
She pours yellow light over the people
Blessing them, affecting them
The night is pregnant with her influence
I am unsettled yet productive
The cat, especially susceptible, is yowling
And by the time I get to bed
Which I have cleaned obsessively
I have three perfect scratches on my breast
From tangling with his derangement.
The night is full
The moon is young
Tomorrow is Friday
And what will the people do
Under the powerful influence
Of such a moon?
Will they drink their sad
Will they fight their anger
Will they see their fear
Will they fall in love.
The stars have joined her company.
Orion draws his bow
The Pleiades cluster shyly behind him
And the moon loves them all
She loves night best
But vacates her seat from time to time
Stepping into day, disregarding order.
She had tea with the sun just yesterday
A nudge to remind him there are other, subtler gods.
Tonight she glows with his bright memory.
soft, white, glitter cushioned
suspended in chill
bunnies, birds, even trees huddle
keeping their tiny inner fires lit.
as the air falls still
the stars shine sharper.
unalive, eternal outsiders,
the only things not muted
by the passing of a snowstorm.
Allow me to lessen the impact of the poem with kiddie art, haha. I’m trying to learn how to do digital art now. This is one of my first efforts. Brushes are fun.