The Astronomer In The Bishop's Garden

shadowing over
Copernicus
the finger of Galileo
his own remnant.

sleeping in the
bishop's garden
at the elaborate cathedral

night as its own frieze

then inside the
fathers holding hands
at dusk thanking God

for another sunset

when out the heavy doors he whirled
round the expanse that did
not belong to him
cursing(blessing)loving needing

winging comets,
Perseid meteorites
falling to his clamped hands,

meniscus shaped telescopes the release in blowing out the dust of saints towards the southeast at sundown.

try explaining to the
archdeacon
over steaming Turkish
coffee
and pale cigarettes while
lilies
and delphiniums are tattooed like Chinese symbols to the underside of his hands, the back of his neck,

try telling the archdeacon
that comets are frost and dust
heat of the sun and the pull of
orbit that

the nebulae forming edges of
known
of unknown
are stars that some-one prayed to
some early pope
dying missionary
rough sewn crusader.

they found him on the marble bench sketching in with flint rock a frieze of the sky above curving like cat or air at the fold of earth. he explained far from the city as the cathedral was the stars offered more in their distance the radiation of voice this is as divine as he would
allow himself to become:

coffee with the
archdeacon star
charts brought
back from a young
voyage around
the Straits of Magellan

and the fathers in black clad lugging dusty volumes of forbidden literature up the twisting staircases looking downwards to
find him kneeling in
wet grass as a disciple
of Ptolemy
of astronomers divining themselves
towards the direction
of winds or solar
flares

(crouching
during the
blindness in
rain at the dusty
altar church
shadows
painted glass

it is clear to-night)

some-one was praying and

tracing

the twilight