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

Fantastic shores

in bed at night his mind had a ferocious imagination
reality and unreality haunted his turbulent brain
the years ticked, an infinite clock of destiny

searching moonlight for the promise of a future
his reveries of heart were coasting on a fairy’s wing
as the world and universe drifted by fantastic shores

but the sea, work, and women — physical outlets —
were his anchor — something old, hard, and soft

—Terri Guillemets

scrambled blackout poetry created from F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925, Scribner 2004 trade paperback, pages 98–99