On this moveable feast day of palms

the waxing gibbous Moon close to Jupiter,

the brightest object backlighting a palm branch,

symbol of triumph and victory, and then

of triumph over death, eternity on view

on a  backdrop of stars moving westward.



The Starry Messenger

Professor Galileo of Padua made his lenses

and the sky was 20 times closer.

Mountains on the moon, and more moons

around Jupiter, and a celestial Milky Way

that led him – us – towards the future.

milky way

In 1610, Galileo published the story of his telescope and the results of his studies as The Starry Messenger.  He had been corresponding with German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who also believed that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the solar system. Kepler had been urging Galileo to go public with his theories for years.

I had believed that when Galileo was tried and convicted by the Church for heresy, he was tortured and excommunicated. But, in fact, he remained a loyal Catholic his entire life.


Naming Infinity


Did you think “number”? It’s no number.

Without limits.  That symbol – a lemniscate – mathematical

turned mystical, which is far better because

the former sounds “knowable” and we know

only that it’s not. We can’t even name it.


(Inspired by Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity which left me knowing less about infinity and still unable to name it.)

Morning Glories

Sunlight crisp through bare almost-spring trees and

the air still March cool except here,

this circle around us, hot coffee and

eggs and toast, birds breakfasting on seeds,

last summer’s flowers watching us with interest.


Inspired by such a morning and Basho’s haiku:

I am one

who spends his breakfast

gazing at morning glories