Recreating Abraham’s Star Charts

Elizabeth Pinborough


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I pause on the path, drop my sticks,
and bend to read them like runes.
Tell the stars, They said. So I do daily—

I chart their breathless turning as
I gather berries in the bush—
Each twig’s finger marks celestial points—

North is Reckoner’s Compass. South,
Theory’s Backbone. West, God’s Thumbs,
and East, Mount Moriah—

Yet, I see more:

Beyond—within—the navigable wilderness
above, 18 quasars guard the edge of the
universe, like many-petaled amaranths.

I peer into time—my tongue bends to liquid
fire, tells of trillions of suns flung from these
orange hives.

Now I perceive the beehive of beingness,
honeycomb of allspace, linking stars into
cells full of honeyed light throughout alltime.[1]

I remember again words the Lord clapped
in my palm—Write the stars. Write the
stars. Write the stars


[1] I was inspired in my description of the universe by Mark Penny’s unpublished poem exploring a brain created from many separate parts that “are linked / and make each other glow / like crowded insects / all without a queen. . . . Each in its little comb hears from the others, / tugged by its tiny spider-strands of fire.” I expanded this neural honeycomb into the fabric of spacetime, with stars as the honeyed symbolic nodes.