Thursday, December 23, 2010

the heavens & us

to center our world?

how much of day-to-day life is dice playing with the universe,
a cosmic randomizer that messes with our certainty,
and, as if on a whim, changes the weather, relationships, opinions--
success or failure of this or that?

so instead we can seek constancy, surety, a plan,
a parent who knows what they’re doing,
we pull back the curtain and hope for someone in charge,
a tragedy? surely part of God’s plan,
just that we poor mortals can’t fathom it,
the capricious scares us,
our destiny, from the stars? somehow?

a people in the desert of the Southwest a thousand years ago
went to enormous effort to build structure after structure
to mirror the changes Sun & Moon dance with the Earth
in their stable, predictable way,

the Sun’s changes, for sure, affect us mightily:
our crops, our comfort, our moods change as possibility changes,
as light and dark tussle for dominance,
the Moon varies enormously each month
and the night sky transforms again and again,
the seas and the imaginative rise and settle at its beckoning,

that the Moon has a 19 year cycle of where on the horizon it rises and sets
only matters if we have an esoteric reason to care,
for these changes are subtle beyond my belief,

at least one people, a thousand years ago, cared,
cared enough to build structure after structure
that mark the regular, predictable changes in the sky,
including the Moon’s minor changes over near two decades,
it seems the certainty found in the heavens centered their world,
what centers ours?

by Henry Walker
December 17, ’10

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