Jan G. Otterstrom F.

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Children huddled on a frosty night
sparkling stars around the family telescope
sighting, low on the southern horizon
the belt, Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak
of Orion and through the lens the nebula
greenish quadruple haze, sword sheath
enveloping cloud, entangling diamonds
deep murky gases, opaline horseshoe
mystery, mist of light years, a past preserved
into our future, wonder of ages, thoughts, myths
learned in ancient names: Betelgeuse, the arm
topaz royal jewel, giant hunter of the sky
Beit Algueze to the Arabs; to stand upon the leg
Rigel, dazzling Algebar, white hot blaze
then the exotic Bellatrix, amazon star
all with luminosities, thousands of times greater
than our sun, now I live beyond that brow, over the brim
falling almost to the equator, our constellation
in February, is directly overhead but its memory
ever recalled, as its bearing orients the tent
of empyrean with slight diurnal deviation
to make friendly, nocturnal darkness in heavenly devotion.

Jan G. Otterstrom F. 2/7/2013