The Planets in Sol’s Realm

by Mary Brunini McArdle


PROLOGUE

“And God said, ‘Let there be light...’’
As long as He is God,
And we are men–
The angels somewhere in between–
We’ll want those lights.

The night-wheel beckons overhead,
Tempting us, inviting us;
We were created incomplete.
Until we see our God
Our spirits seek Him,
Thinking that the stars
Will reconcile our restlessness.

In ages past, the winking orbs
Were inseparable–they were just lights;
We couldn’t differeniate between them.

And now we know the nebulae
We see perhaps are nonexistent.
But the Eight are within our reach.
They warrant contemplation.

MERCURY

The wasteland of its Star: a torch forever in the flames
Of solar fury meant to hurl a storm where dense detritus rains;
Its craters roughened, shriveled, dry; its mountains crushed to smoldering ore;
In orbit close it faithful keeps its heated vigil at the Core.

VENUS

An endless, sunrise sea of vapors multitudinous,
And broken spires of golden stone beneath cloud-dreams of alien dust;
No human eye could penetrate the veil of mystery above
This fair, primeval Terran mime that has forborne our sustenance.

EARTH

The seat of paradox: imprinted with like kinds of things
That isolate themselves apart, and thus an endless conflict brings.
It struggles in a constant quest in progress toward some unknown doom;
Eternal march to entropy--acknowledged by a single moon.

MARS

The signature of age: the glow of embers far away
Illuminates the ruddy plains to mark the dying Martian day;
What secret does that sunset hold? As Deimos unrelenting spans
The path where Phobos keeps the key–was this the ancient home of Man?

JUPITER

A Herculean giant! Its sprawling carmine hurricanes
Surround the furnace deep within that fuel the false sun’s hidden flames;
About the everlasting storms, broad bands of orange and yellow gas
Erupt in tendrils igneous, and lick the Cosmos as they pass.

SATURN

Adorned by crystal rings: each little diamond takes its place
Throughout the great horizon’s range to form a symphony of grace.
The pecking order of the orbs, disputed for a thousand years,
Is challenged by Saturnian skies, and by the Heaven’s brilliant flares.

URANUS

The stance of character and fairy, alabaster beams
From pale, Elizabethan moons; its marbled surface spins and gleams
Like agate from a toy chest, or hidden in a rich ravine–
Touched by a child with reverence–its sister-image far, unseen.

NEPTUNE

Of misdirected poles: uncertain in their frantic race
Wherein their true position lies–on top, or down, or interface;
Neptune, sentinel of the night, caught in the satin folds of space;
Set in a jeweled arch of moons–with luminescent sapphire laced.

THE OTHER THREE

Intrepid wanderers, the little ghostlings of the stars;
Whatever form or shape they take are like humanity’s memoirs.
Interpretation lost to us, by distance and debate removed–
Celestial nature half concealed, until their rightful place is proved.

EPILOGUE

Ceres, the greatest asteroid, the ruler of the Belt.
It is a dignified position, a place
Not to be overlooked. Be satisfied.

Pluto: your definition’s been discussed
For quite some time.
Are you an asteroid too? A planet,
Or a lifeless comet, its fire
Burnt out eons ago?

And Xena? Are you in conflict
With some other bodies
About which we know so little?

These questions may not really
Be resolved. Wait, then, all three;
Though now we say farewell,
The future is a mystery,
And so, regrettably, are you.


Copyright © 2006 by Mary Brunini McArdle

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