Alexandria, VA

ADASTRAgrl's AstroPoems

The Astronomer's Travels

18 November 1986

When the leaves in October fall to the ground
And the cold air echoes many a sound,
November arrives with its crisp clear nights,
And heaven proffers many glorious sights.
An astronomer leaves from Mount Palomar
On a journey to lands near and far.
To see the roots of astronomy,
She begins her pilgrimage dutifully.
This lady of science about styles does not care:
Faded blue jeans, gray sweatshirt is what she wears.
Glasses carefully perched on a freckled nose
To stop her squinting at stars, her natural pose.
To see the sky from where the first astronomers did
Was her greatest desire since she was a kid.
Now to begin her pilgrimage at last:
A trip in the present, a journey to the past.
First she goes to Mesopotamia
Then to Egypt, Greece, and Britannia.
In Mesopotamia, ziggurats rise high,
Temples for the gods reaching for the sky.
Since heaven controls life in their valley,
These people developed a knack for astrology.
In Egypt to see the Dog Star Sirius,
Its true effect on the Nile not mysterious,
She saw the illuminating full moon
Cast long shadows across the sandy dunes.
In Greece, Pythagoras and Aristotle
Both knew the earth was round, not flat at all.
(She was bubbling over with joyous mirth
Upon learning they knew there was curve to Earth.)
The ruins of Stonehenge she was amidst
To see the equinox and winter solstice.
This she witnessed while in Great Britannia:
Now home she could travel to California.
Her arrival in Palomar ends her pilgrimage,
But she has fulfilled her duty, to pay homage
To the ancients who saw the universe,
Thought it beautiful, and said so in verse.

The Astronomer and the Child

In Reality, the learned astronomer may not be
as learned as he may think.
For a little child might see more up above,
than the learned astronomer in his books!

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Last Updated:  Monday January 14, 2008 by Elizabeth Warner

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