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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
I seem to be moving faster now
but my tight orbit of seven days
is fixed. Hidden from view most days,
the energy wanes, as forces pull, waxing,
briefly bright and full, now a sliver.
I wanted to write a poem based on the Moon’s phases but without saying “Moon” and really writing about our own waxing and waning phases.