The Old Astronomer...A Poem



Into the warm evening air we came,

A group of Arizona teenagers

-- hushed, nervous laughter --

Leaves and grass

Crushing beneath our feet.


The old man,

With tremulous finger,

Drew our gaze to the sky

Delicately aglow

From the sun's past hour descent.


And he named them.

What were they?



Cassiopeia perhaps?


And inside the quiet dome,

Squat and solid

Against the sky,

We put our eye to the lens.


And as our eye

Drew nearer and nearer,

A luminous orb

Danced from side to side,


Like a lighted drop of fluid

Until it came to rest

In meeting with our eye.


And then it hung there

-- silently --

Full of pale living light

In the endless distance of space.


Was it Venus perhaps?

Alone and lovely

That we gazed upon?

What did we know,

What did we care

What this distant

Opalescent sphere

Meant to that old man,

that very old man,

Who had spent a lifetime

On nights such as this.


Copyright by Don Gray


Don Gray Art  •  Poems