Tuesday, November 9, 2021


I have never consulted the Zodiac
or had Madame Zostra read my tea leaves,
never stayed home because the moon
was in the fourth house of seven.

I do not care if Mercury is in retrograde.
We rule the stars.
They do not rule us
unless we hopscotch across sidewalk cracks

or throw thyme across our left shoulder
to avoid the Melocchio. Tosh.
But I believe in the unseen hand,
detached from constellations,

that beckons, guides, cajoles:
a deeper heart, a better mind,
the Spiritus Mundi that stitches atoms
to mountain rivers and the mind of God,

the loaded dice of synchronicity,
the quantum flip of a silver coin,
the outcome of which
is determined by observers

seen and unseen.
I am forced to make concessions,
for there is Providence in the fall of a sparrow,
and who am I to debate that sacred wind

that blows where it will though I cannot divine
where it comes from or where it goes?
Once upon a time,
a man lived in the deep woods

and could not escape,
could not see the scorpion’s tail
in the glorious star-speckled sky
that pointed to a clearing off the beaten path

though he briefly glimpsed
the constellation rise in splendor
when the branches parted,
when he surfed a quantum wave.

A brother grim, a lost tale
that had not a jot to do with the astrologer’s chart
but with the hour of his visitation and the spirit’s art.
The jewels of the night

are meant to guide, not predict,
and so they do
when a wise man gazes into the sky
so that his pupils may dilate,

so that wonder may enter his eye.
In November, when Scorpius rises,
is it not, set by the Jeweler’s hand,
as beautiful as any sign shining above the land?

~William Hammett

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