Stars Above the Empire State

by A. H. Knight

Northern start chart from Uranographia by HeveliusDrones, little suitors circling Queen Polaris;
dots turned dithyrambic myths by Grecian lyre.
From myth to math: on stars Copernicus
framed calendars and seas were mapped to Empire.

Northern dome, circular throne whose New World psalms
sired Mars songs— over pagan lands she towers
with churches, colonies, atomic bombs:
she does not nurse, the barren queen devours.

No South Pole star commands the Southern Cross;
no sky gods, but earth gods; no calendar year.
Celestial gyre! Voodoo fire-dance of chaos.

To dance, not build; worship the earth, the here.
We have no choice: the city lights have blurred
the map that led us once to this New World.

Copyright © 2005, A. H. Knight

A.H. Knight's poems have been published in The Evansville Review and on the website His play The Martyr as Ointment Jar was produced at Williamstown Theatre Festival as part of their Museum Pieces series. He lives in New York City.

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Hevelius star chart courtesy of Istituto di Fisica Generale Applicata, Università degli Studi di Milano