In the Planetary Ballet

Posted on July 15, 2015 in New Poems

Tycho Brahe’s model of the universe
had all the planets (except earth)
revolving round the sun, while the sun,
with its planets in tow, revolved
around earth. So he kept the Jesuites
happy, and preserved his name
as a scientist. But this was no time-server,

having his cake and eating it, rather
a meticulous Dane, keeping accurate
measurements of the universe,
reckoning it mere common-sense
this mother earth, this sluggish
compound of clay and water,
could not possibly be on the move,
as Copernicus argued. No object
shifted on earth without being pushed,
so how could the planet suddenly
take off like the swallow, zooming
through the spheres as though
composed of ether, like the heavens?
Alas, Tycho, commonsense is a poor
resource in such matters. Galileo,
another scrupulous observer, had a mind
capable of leaping, and a telescope.
In the planetary ballet, earth proved
sublimely capable of holding her own.