Stay the night

The moon is always
running away from me
as if she thinks that time
is just a cyclical game
of hide & seek —

She runs and runs
then keeps on running
leaving me to the mystery
of why the nights run short
and the days even shorter

Please, Moon —
just for one night
can’t you sit still
and stay a while

We can have
a midnight tea —
just you and me
we’ll talk all night
and bask in the glow
of your regal beauty

—Terri Guillemets

Flight path

I look out my office window
working too late, again

The half-moon is round
with a glowing halo —
I know it’s pollution but
my heart sees fairy dust
or the happily ever after
romance of a bedtime story

And next to the bright moon
with its fringe of murky light
soars a large airplane
with its lights flashing
and I can hear its engine
even with my windows closed
(it’s hot outside, otherwise —
you know darn well —
I would open them!)

The plane’s lights —
red, green, white orbs
of unsightly technological safety —
are ruining the beautiful night sky
and distracting me from
my dusty fairy-tale moon

Yet maybe
at last
I realize
what’s been
obscuring
my poetic vision

I always seem to focus
on that beautiful moon
and the romantic dark sky
but ignore the 737 monstrous
hunk of metallic civilization
hurling itself through the night,
followed by a second aircraft
and then a third and fourth,
as if the airport is shooing
all her noisy little children
out of the house to play —

And even though that airplane
is hideous and loud
and aerial anti-serenity —
      it’s life.

And what is poetry —
      if not life?

Perhaps it carries
newlywed lovers
who were finally married
after COVID cancellations,
leaving on the honeymoon
they saved up years for —
and in that plane
is just as much fairy tale
as that beautiful-ugly
dust veiling the moon.

—Terri Guillemets

Venus falling

I saw something very strange last night when I got out of bed to use the bathroom. Out the east window I saw a bright white light in the sky. Not knowing what time it was, at first I assumed it was Venus. But it wasn’t dawn yet. And then suddenly I noticed that it was slowly moving straight downward. It disappeared out of view behind my neighbor’s house. I looked at the clock, and it was 12:26 AM. I still have no idea what it was — it seemed too slow and straight and steady to be a meteor, but I don’t know what else it could’ve been that would’ve been moving in a linear downward motion. We are still in the tau Herculids date range, so I suppose that’s a possibility. I’ve never seen anything like it. Checked the local news for the day but didn’t see anything. Guess I’ll just never know.

Tau Herculids shooting stars

I saw 6 meteors last night during the tau Herculids meteor shower, from my backyard. I wasn’t expecting to see any, given how light our night sky is here in Phoenix! The first one I saw at 8:45 pm MST, just while going out briefly to check the location of the constellations. Then an hour later I laid on the ground and saw 5 more from 9:45 to 10:15 pm. Nothing after that, so I came back in at 10:30 and went to bed. It was a wonderful night!

Night haze

The moon shines
into the dirty desert air
with a rusty opal halo —

Scorpius has lost his way
behind the thin clouds,
city glare, smoke, dust —

His heart shines in some far
better place — but not here
in this smoggy summer.

—Terri Guillemets

Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama —
abandons her nonviable eggs
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

Nested arms fall off a saguaro,
break open on the ground
like fragile eggshells —
after decades of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful,
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets

Galactic gathering

Standing in a silent still-dark February morning
Cool dewy grass grazes half-bare sandaled feet
Lo! Saturn arrives as Jupiter saddles Sagittarius
Mars burns red near the glowing crescent moon
Serpens slithers against a vaporous galaxy border
Antares winks green and gold, crimson and rust
As Scorpius swings its tail at the southern horizon
Libra starboard and upward of the crowded scene
Balancing askew over the poor impaled lone wolf
Ophiuchus a bystander in the busy celestial show

—Terri Guillemets

At two-fifty-nine

Prayer to the middle-of-the-night gods:
      please let me sleep —
thank you for the beautiful moon
      and winter silence
but please let me fall back to sleep —
      no offense.
                        Amen.

—Terri Guillemets