Antares, Polaris, Deneb

what is it that makes me
lie in the dark on a warm summer night
looking up with binoculars?

why do I feel happy when I see
a satellite, and another one, moving fast across the
stars, eternally falling through the night all alone?

occasional fast movements,
a falling star, glowing specks of dust
or a bright Iridium flare

when it gets even darker,
the black dotted canvas becomes
huge and deep and full of white dots

each one a star, all different,
some small, some huge, some old, some young,
citizens of a city of another kind

simple dots just at first glance.
places! clusters! brilliant clouds of light
different colors, not just white

I find that this one over there is actually
Saturn, sister world, rings, dozens of moons
and over there, Mars: close companions

what about that one? the larger stars have names,
Latin, Greek, Arabic, mysterious names,
some of which are familiar, and they are all out tonight

what is it that makes me
feel home among these places
that are so far away, further than we can imagine?

Arcturus, Wega, Spica,
Procyon, Sirius, Aldebaran,
Antares, Polaris, Deneb

and in some nights that are dark and clear
I find, southeast of Cassiopeia, the faint glow
of Andromeda, sister galaxy

Picking up the Leaves


this morning, the large bamboo in the attic
taught me a lesson, not for the first time:
it has taught for years, but I did not listen.

this morning, in a slightly pensive mood
(years whizzing by faster than ever, and not many left)
picking up the dried leaves from the carpet

suddenly remembered “only this”,
stopped trying to get the job done
and started doing it without going away, and of course

“only this” then becomes obvious,
infinitely meaningful
an act of love