constellations

AGING WITH ORION

 

Missing Orion, but he will soon return to the Northern Hemisphere skies…

(I) ORION AT TWENTY
After meditating in Neolithic darkness
A tranquil universe is born
While camping at the folk festival
Guitars and violins
Chants and poems echo
With a new moon making visible
Stars and planets joining Orion
In his nightly romp up high
Through the speckled night sky
Venus, Mars, Pleiades
(Those seven sisters smiling upon us)

(II) ORION AT FORTY:
When Orion peels himself off
The black backdrop of the celestial ceiling
And his dog Sirius herds him to my door
I will shake the star-dusted golden glitter
From the halo of hair that I wear free and curly
And as the earthy music soars and sinks
While minor chords weave a robe so warm
I will sharpen the dagger hanging from his waist
And welcome the result of being chased
By the winter Star Man who has come at last…

(III) ORION AT SIXTY
Navy blue Southern sky so reachable
Here he is, once again, tonight
Stretched out, over my head
My legs apart, as wide as his
Dog at my heels
Lift my arms and double high five him
Balance deserts as I stumble into a terracotta pot of ginger
No dignity in old age
But my hands, for a brief blink of time, touched the stars

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja), Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems, Wildsound Video read by performer

 

CANIS MAJOR & MINOR (THE NIGHT OF THE DOGS)

Tonight

Appearing in the

Northern Hemisphere

Canis Major

Greater Dog

Known as Sirius

The brightest star

Named for the Egyptian god Osiris

Ruler of life, death, fertility and plant rebirth

Also visible is

Canis Minor

Lesser Dog

Known as Procyon

Both stars

Halfway between Orion

And Earth

So wanting to be with

Us aching humans

Helplessly watching our dogs

Over the years

Trek to the skies

As we bid goodbye

It is not such a huge leap of imagination

To think that our best friends

Have come to reassure us

Sniffing, smiling

As only their species can do

A joyously unique

Modus vivendi

Telling us yes,

We are happy in a new life

As we light the way

For those who are

Lost

Lonely

Herding them back

Before they go astray

So let us remember our dogs

Today…

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

Image: Earth Sky

LIBRA VS SCORPIO

 

Okay, sorry, I love my Scorpio friends

But as an astrological dilettante

I discovered that an election date in November

Was convenient

Because the crops would be harvested

And winter storms would be mild

So Congress instituted the uniform date

In 1845

 

No offense to Scorpios

Those wonderfully mysterious

Water signs

But you know you can be

Stinging Scorpions or

Soaring Eagles

Quite a dual sign and time

To entrust the astrological vibrations

To an iffy pantomime of promises

 

Would the Founding Fathers

Have approved of the month?

It is said those wily Masons

Chose July 4th, under the sign of Cancer,

As the ideal day for the

Birth of the Nation

Computing positions of

Planets and stars

For maximum success

Another Water sign

Water, mutable

 

I, personally, would choose Libra

For an election month

An Air sign of logic

Seeking balance

Wouldn’t want to

Interfere with the harvesting

But does it really matter in modernity?

 

Hey, let’s add a new amendment

To the Constitution:

Change elections to be held

Between September 21 and October 21

The only ones harvesting are Big Farm

(Maybe Big Pharm is raking in the money, too, at that time)

Most of us are trying to stretch a dollar and

Find some fun in life

But I’d be willing to vote then

 

While we’re amending,

Let’s change the name of

CAMPAIGN contributions to

FOOD BANK AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE contributions

Yeah, okay, do I get three wishes?

Let’s also outlaw war…

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE:  EarthSky

EYES DRINKING YOU

 

Way down low

On the Southern horizon

According to my handy planisphere

Appears the Teapot

Eight-star “asterism”

Meaning a group of stars

Too big to be a cluster

Too small to be a constellation

Sagittarius, that mighty centaur

Traveling with his own kettle

 

Stumbling out at midnight

My infamous pack of hounds

Howling at the moon

My neighbors forced to open doors

Allowing their better-trained dogs

To join the joyful song

 

Groggy from sleep

I gaze at the teapot

Beautifully visible

Without my myopia-cursed glasses

I crave some Russian Caravan tea

Smoky from bamboo

Full of caffeine

 

Then imagine Scorpius

Swinging stinging tail

Watching Capricornus and Aquarius

Surrounding the Teapot

Thinking of the anomaly

Of winter constellations

Appearing in my 90 degree yard

Remembering that the Southern Hemisphere

Is deep in winter

Wondering if they see these

Or are they gazing at our summer ones

In their darkened sky

 

Lost in the vastness of space

A mystery I lovingly embrace

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

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