John Petelle

Blue Circles, Dark Stars

A blue circle surrounds the moon.
My astronomer friends
have a name for this,
an explanation.
I know better.
It means someone dear to me, 
weeps slow tears.

We all look upon identical stars,
yet our visions diverge.
Standing next to me,
my wife says
“Those clouds are a barking dog.”
I observe no such thing,
seeing only a lawnmower, flinging grass.

Three states to the south,
my childhood friend has clear skies.
No airy vapors there.
His atmospheric view,
estranged from mine.
The distance between us,
more than earthly miles.

I stroll a concrete path,
two miles of sidewalk to a nearby park.
What passes for a hill in this place,
boasts an observatory.
Stargazers fling knowledge at me.
Their words like asteroids, 
impacting among dinosaurs.

I strive, and fail again.
Unable to see the ancient shapes.
Their forms elude me.
Ignorance darkens my mood.
Like an eclipse,
chasing these distant suns
to oblivion.

The lunar nimbus has faded.
Black velvet sky,
perfectly surrounds ivory sphere.
My blue circle knowledge is true.
Does this mean their lamentations have ended?
Or are they a stranger to me now,
as unknown as the zodiac?

John Petelle is a Desert Storm veteran of the Marine Corps. His varied career includes years spent as the editor of the Nebraska American Legion’s state newspaper, computer instructor for an elementary school, and numerous technology startup companies. He currently assists in the creation of machine learning algorithms, focused on healthcare technology.