"Be careful when writing about the moon and stars.
It's been done so many times that you have to be aware
of all that's been written about it, otherwise
you'll be poorly copying somebody else."
—Bill Knott

Amazing Circle: Nebula SeriesAoete, Mlete & Mneme:
steal your father's thunder
and shove it down my throat.

Cat with the knack
of getting tongues,

I don't know how
to start this poem—

All the stars
are on lockdown;
I can't pluck
any of the jeweled moons:

Lend me the piercing topaz
of your eyes.

Tell me the poetic license
hasn't expired,
that there is something
new under the sun.

— Permission
to look to the sky.

I can pick a zenith, any zenith?

Has the word Betelgeuse
been used in a poem before?

Anyone ever refer to a gibbous moon as
silver slice of cantaloupe?

Tracing any constellation's outline:
is that plagiarism?

& what's with supernovas—
(suicide or old age or what?)


Yesterday, I cross-searched moon, stars, and poem,
got more than 5 million hits
on the information superhighway

not counting all the swerving & ducking
and cars idling by the shoulders.

The intersection
between the sun & moon
is an eclipse.
A blackhole is not

an empty set.

Thing is,
you only mentioned the moon
and the stars

so I can frolic freely
beyond them

whip up a country
not yet conceived

out of thin air
and pure will

Copyright © 2008, Oke Mbachu

Image Credit: Jennie Mahon (Spitfirelas), some rights reserved

Oke Mbachu's poems and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Boxcar Poetry Review, Caveat Lector, Contemporary Rhyme, DMQ Review, Red River Review and elsewhere. He writes and works in Illinois.