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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

What Is That Bright Star Next to the Moon Tonight?


Out late and looking again to the hazed red urban evening sky for a sign
What is that bright star next to the moon tonight?
Asking myself this among other questions of fleeting consequence
I watched Jupiter the great fluid king of the night
With his rude belching gases and submissive fluctuating moons

His swashbuckling bright streaks flaunted like sans culottes
Boiling firestorm spots and magnetic auroras
Cozying up, it seemed, to the chaste and shying
Waxing gibbous Lady Luna -- seeming so close,
Though in reality far more distant and intense,

With nothing of her ethereal luminous
Silent running beauty, her unearthly milky violet glow --
Challenging her brightness perhaps
Though hardly her pulchritude --
Until my view grew occluded under the constellated neons

Of the Pyramid Ale House

File:Hubble Spies Jupiter Eclipses.jpg


Waxing gibbous moon, with Saturn, Venus and Jupiter: composite photo by Michael Myers, April 28, 2004
Jupiter eclipses (shadows of three of Jupiter's moons in alignment across the planet's face, two of the moons visible)
: image by NASA/ESA/Erich Karkoschka (U. of Arizona), 2004

Aurora borealis on Jupiter (bright streaks and dots caused by magnetic flux tubes connecting Jupiter to its largest moons, Io, Ganymede and Europa): Hubble Space Telescope UV image by John T. Clarke (U. Michigan)/ESA/NASA, 2000


Delia Psyche said...

Bright star, would I were jovial as thou art...

Anonymous said...

That moon need not be envious of poor old Juliet and your rhymes have thrilled me like the scene in the balcony.

TC said...


Being an enormous flowing cauldron of boiling gas would probably bring out the latent joviality in even the most phlegmatic of us (though it might not get us on too many elite guest lists).


Could it be those two formidable gas giants Saturn and Jupiter, Lady Luna's saturnine and jovial suitors, were the busy bodies the Master had in mind?

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

Anonymous said...

I smile. I love this whole characterization and who real those images are.

That bright star next to the Moon? Sure, I know who he really is(not what).I was gazing at him last night and he told me.

TC said...


Yes, he is one of those who cannot keep a secret from a watcher of the skies.