Syzygy: December 2, 1997


Like diamond studs

on the dark shirt of night

eight planets line up left

of the crescent moon:

a syzygy of Venus,

Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury

white as winter, and Mars

a stop-sign in the sky.

Not for a hundred years

have these planets lined up

like sentries along a wall

brightening this dark time

while the universe expands

and heaven moves farther away.

Heaven Bodies

aren’t described in religious canon or legend.

Would the way we were at the end

be how we would appear

in the afterlife to those we held dear?

Or would we look as we did at each stage

of life to those who knew us, say, in old age

or in youth or any time in between?

How awful if heaven’s filled with unseen

bodiless spirits who can’t hug

or hold hands.  I guess I’d prefer ug-

ly old bodies, even if maimed by diseases

to aborted fetuses

or something from an ancient grave, dust all that’s left.

Yet, far worse, to be bereft

of emotions in an unchanging sphere

year after year after year

where all feelings cease.

Just placid calm, interminable peace.

No, no!  I want a body that knows desire

even if I end up in a fire.

Ancient Armies

Darkness crammed all

of the void

with itself

until an equal force

called Light

hurled its radiance

through space.

They stared each other down

like ancient armies

across a battlefield

soon strewn with expiring stars

shuddering clumps

of wounded char.

Darkness hid in deep places

Light would not enter.

Light spat lightning.

Darkness instantly closed

over the rent.

They met only at dawn

and dusk.  Locked

in an eternal dance

as Light spread forward

Darkness flowed behind

like black ink

sucked up by a blotter.

Around the earth

with its fickle turning

the daily ritual.

Sunrise.  Sunset.

Advance.  Retreat.

Victory.  Defeat.


From Noah’s pairs,

male and female

like Adam and Eve,

two’s been company.

For symmetry’s sake

creatures themselves

are mostly composed of two

eyes, ears, arms and legs,

feet, lips but only one nose.

Was the Garden that smelly?
Now day and night,

at home or away,

sometimes hit or miss,

trying to look before I leap,

keep high and dry

avoiding sturm and drang,

fore and aft, taking

the good with the bad,

I’m ready and able

to put two and two together.
So read this and weep

as I’ve got two strings

to my bow.  For two bits

or two cents, even

double or nothing

in two shakes of a lamb’s tail,

I figure my chances are 50/50

to give you here and now

without profit or loss

the whole kit and caboodle

the pros and cons

over land and sea

from starboard to port

and top to bottom

to North and South Poles

whether wet or dry

neither fish nor fowl

like heaven and hell,

from Alpha to Omega

from ying to yang

all opposites are two.
Just to name a few:

right and left

life and death

yes and no

plus and minus

black and white

up and down

off and on

true or false

great and small

open and closed

major and minor

lost and found

win or lose

in and out.

So right or wrong

I made a point

without daring to mention

a beginning or end

as then there’d be a middle

and that’s definitely three

which requires a poem

all of its own.

Sarah Brown Weitzman

Sarah Brown Weitzman, a Pushcart Prize nominee, has been widely published in hundreds of journals and anthologies including THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW, MIRAMAR, NEW OHIO REVIEW, THEMA, RATTLE, MID-AMERICAN REVIEW, POET LORE, THE BELLINGHAM REVIEW, EKPHRASIS, SPILLWAY, etc.  Sarah received a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.  A departure from poetry, her fourth book HERMAN AND THE ICE WITCH, is a children’s novel published by Main Street Rag.


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