…just a note to say that about a year ago, I posted the following sonnet induced by having seen the Moon and Jupiter in their full glory together; they’re both back, and contrary to public opinion, so am I; for the mind, “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to:; for the heart, time is conquered, thank God… —Once, 23 July 2011
“Solace in the Courtesies”
Solace in the courtesies of the constellations, Jupiter
Surely there at sunrise, the brightest star,
Visible while the jealous moon, scarred,
The closest audience; apt, significant. The irony. Her
Dwarf, yet here in circumstance; the bond a quiet perpetuity.
The mighty planet rests for moments in the night,
And we regard the larger aegis the greater light
And think so little of her smaller celebrant; so great an inequity
In vision we’re wont to dote upon from such a station as this.
It is just so with all luminaries of perspicuous wisdom and guidance in the night
That they are worshipped in coal black skies, but preludes to the dawning light
Because it pleases the eye see none but them and rest awhile in ignorant bliss.
Yet with the rising of the sun, all former brilliance must surely fade,
Withdrawn by force to honour greater virtues than the night has made.
I wonder why it is that knowing consciously the identity of what that star is that shone this morning just before the sunrise and has been shining every morning so significantly in the southeastern skies makes so much difference. Tonight it was joined beautifully by proximity to the moon.
A few weeks ago, I learned from a friend that that bright, unusually vivid star was in fact the planet Jupiter. Not that the news was astounding, but in some quiet way it was comforting because as I looked out from my balcony in the early morning hours always just before sunrise, when the skies were clear I had seen that star and wondered just what it was. Somehow I wanted some confirmation as to just what that thing was. I wrote to my friend who was kind enough to confirm its identity for me that it is true that it’s Jupiter and it is very visible in the skies during the whole of June into July. Now, then, this silent delight in knowing consciously that I have seen with my own eyes this “other world” that shares our solar system in some subtle way pleases my soul. These are the signsof God, my friend, as if the moon and sun, the inevitable revival of the earth at spring, and countless spectacles of greater and lesser significance were not. Did I need another confirmation of the majesty of this Creation? These days, for me at least, even breathing is a sign of God and becomes more obviously so with every passing day at my age. —Once, July 2010