In ancient days the constellations told

by Ian Creasey

In ancient days the constellations told
A thousand stories seen in timeless halt
As shining portraits set in heaven's vault
Of mighty beasts and mortal heroes bold:
Orion with his hound and belt of gold,
And godlike Perseus, free of earthly fault
Who saved Andromeda from vile assault:
These icons men did wonder to behold.
Today there is no wondrous realm on high:
The planets are but lumps of rock and ice;
A ball of hydrogen makes up a star.
And clouds of smog obscure the empty sky
Whose erstwhile contents have a worldly price:
The Milky Way is now a chocolate bar.

First published in Manchester Poetry 1
Copyright © 1988, Ian Creasey

Star chart depicting Perseus, Andromeda, and Cassiopeia

Star chart from Harmonia macrocosmica
by Andreas Cellarius

Ian Creasey was born in 1969 and lives in Yorkshire, England. He began writing when rock & roll stardom failed to return his calls. His short stories have appeared in various publications including Oceans of the Mind, Gothic.Net, Paradox, On Spec, and The Mammoth Book Of Legal Thrillers.

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