Skull of Sirius, Crossbones of Cassiopeia
We pirate photons, curve
them to gravity’s lies,
deflect their innocence
into our sails – spend
their fecundity, born
in Orion’s belt, to sweep
us on continuum’s errand,
galaxy to black hole to red dwarf –
particle and wave we float, drift,
bob on seas of light matter and dark,
coining new words for ourselves, our
origins – watch us arrive, we mariners
of space, we privateers of the universe,
we shadows of the skies –
our sails block out constellations,
blacken vast arcs of glowing space, leave
your irises to expand, expand
as your universe shrinks
Tonight the moon himself’ becomes the prey,
Orion and his dogs hot on the trail.
They arc across the sky and bark and bay.
Canis major, Canis minor, snap and flail.
Their hard star-eyes’ unblinking icy spark
betrays blood lust that drives them at the lune,
bold Sirius’ blue glint against the dark
a warning sign, portent, a deadly rune.
At last the tall meridian is breached,
the moon slides past the line midnight had drawn,
escapes the hunting party’s grasping reach,
finds refuge in the bright haven of dawn.
Daylight’s Starring Role
behind the curtain
of the planet
winds the rope,
pulls the curtain up
and out of the way.
We who watch do not see
the pulleys or the folds
of night’s fabric,
we see only
the thin wedge of
glow that promises
light to the day.
We stand, applaud.
in the dust-filtered
the sun’s last lingering,
like a supernova altering
the last gravity of the day,
like a mouth-harp player
from B to B-flat,
the last note of evensong,
like a cue ball clicking
just off center,
breaking the racked light.
The Magisterial Moon rules the minuscule stars,
And the evening’s planets, Saturn, Venus and Mars,
His full face is so bright against the black sky
That they all fade away from view by and by.
When Moon reaches his zenith, dawn dares to arrive,
The sky starts to brighten, the horizon comes alive
With pastel colors of every hue.
And Moon begins to be dimmed by the blue.
Then Supercilious Sun declares and declaims
“Moon, you just dimly reflect My fusion, My flames.”
Roy Beckemeyer is a retired aeronautical engineer who currently studies Paleozoic insect fossils and writes poetry. He is from Wichita, Kansas. His poems have recently appeared in or been accepted byThe Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, The North Dakota Review, Dappled Things, and I-70 Review. His debut collection of poetry, “Music I Once Could Dance To,” published in 2014 by Coal City Review and Press, was selected as a 2015 Kansas Notable Book by the State Library of Kansas and the Kansas Center for the Book.