Early in this blog’s life, I posted five poems from the mid-’90s, which I collectively call Divinations (after the book that would have contained them all). If you missed them, feel free to filter using the “Poems” tag, and there they are. (One of them, Camille Claudel, is far and away my most popular post, with nearly twice as many hits as the runner-up.)
Those five, out of the total of 25 poems, were the ones I could publish unchanged – without undue embarrassment – nearly 20 years later.
Recently re-reading Galileo, always one of my favorites, finally alerted me to the fact that some of the poems were worth revisiting, with a view to some judicious editing which would magically make them publishable.
In this case, “judicious” meant: excising an entirely separate autobiographical strand which had no place in this poem. Mr. Galilei stands quite well enough on his own.
A shout-out here to my esteemed musical colleagues Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel, whose song Galileo (from their wonderful album Legends) is referenced herein.
Miracle glass lift your skyward eyes
Now our Earth moves!
The tremors some feel
Eyes holy-papered o’er
Your lenses hurled in church
Author before authority –
Trembling at a moon imperfect –
Frightful impossible Jupiter’s moons
Loathsome spotted sun
Questions like yours find
Eager shapes of tongue control
Naive champion of sense
The dogma-fat hunger not
Urban sub-fools roll
Such creatures, blind to themselves
Laughable, idiot’s demand!
True human peaceful mind
Damns you not for surface surrender
Blameless, violated genius –
I hear that sunlight: high F-sharp
Lovely song in your name
Healing sun, heart of our world
Cleanse your damnation
Hear you sir, this absolution now?