astronomy

SERPENT-BEARER

Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'

Midnight south sky
Peering through mist and rain
Serpens Caput
Separated by Ophiuchus
The Serpent-Bearer
From Serpens Cauda
Severing gravitational pull
I drift to the 2nd Century
Imagining Ptolemy
Gazing at a pristine sky
On clear, Alexandrian nights
Naming three of the
88 constellations
That still seduce me
In this 21st Century
What were your dreams?
Did they extend past your
Actual titles of
Mathematician
Astronomer
Geographer
Astrologer
Did you compose music
Or paint
Or flirt with temple priestesses
Did you break the hearts
Of your poetic Muses?
Or did you crane your neck
Night after night
Seeing with your naked eye
But sadly missing a beauty
From lack of technology
The Hubble Telescope’s gift
Pillars of Creation
Part of that constellation
A colorful majesty
Unseen
But oh,
How you would have loved it
I suspect you’d have named it
The same as
Jean-Philippe Loys de Cheseaux
Swiss Astronomer
Who called the nursery for stars
The Eagle Nebula
But as I watch
Serpens Caput
Serpens Cauda
Who almost seem to be writhing around
Another serpent bearer
Asclepius
I am reminded of the caduceus
And take it as a sign
The healing time
Has come
For Earth and her children
And gravity
Once again restrains me
As I float down to the pre-dawn light
And know all will be all right…

© 2020 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Ptolemy / Pillars of Creation / Serpent-Bearer Ophiuchus

Ptolemy

FOR THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE (AUGUST 21, 2017)

 

 

Week of dress rehearsals

On the cosmic stage

Meteors lighting up

Countless trails blazed

 

Planets whirling backwards

Magnetic storms arrive

Constellations stretch their legs

Stars come alive

 

Wandering down aisles of life

Seeking answers for my heart

Searching for the perfect soul

Existence needs a fresh start

 

Ah, the Moon, overshadowing the Sun

Interfering with the brightness of Earth

Astronomical reasons meaningless

When we question our lonely worth

 

Eclipses demand tribute

So we question all intentions

Who is real, who is true

Who is a self-invention

 

Wandering down aisles of life

Searching for my matching soul

Eclipses mean new beginnings

O, celestial bodies, make me whole…

 

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Full Solar Eclipse 1999 (Wikipedia)

 

CORONA BOREALIS

 

Dionysus, the famous party boy,

Fell in love with

Ariadne, abandoned princess

She who aided Theseus

In his escape from the labyrinth

After murdering her father’s monster

The Minotaur who fed on the sacrificials

Ariadne agreed to help Theseus

If he would take her with him

Wanting to escape Crete

Mostly wanting to be

With her beloved hero

She trailblazed a path

Through the passages with thread

Theseus escaped, took her to an island

Then left her for dead

Dionysus found Ariadne

Immortalizing the princess

By flinging her crown into the aethers

Ptolemy, second century astronomer

Named the collection of seven stars Corona Borealis

Here stands a lonely poet

Not twenty minutes before a May midnight

In twenty-first century Florida

Gazing at the same crown of stars

While pondering how

Constellations

And faithless men

Are unchangeable over time…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Corona Borealis