October 11, 2017


Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750—1848)
astronomer, sister of William; and others.


A woman in the shape of a monster   

a monster in the shape of a woman   

the skies are full of them

a woman      ‘in the snow

among the Clocks and instruments   

or measuring the ground with poles’

in her 98 years to discover   

8 comets

she whom the moon ruled   

like us

levitating into the night sky   

riding the polished lenses

Galaxies of women, there

doing penance for impetuousness   

ribs chilled   

in those spaces    of the mind

An eye,

          ‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’

          from the mad webs of Uranusborg

                                                            encountering the NOVA   

every impulse of light exploding

from the core

as life flies out of us

             Tycho whispering at last

             ‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’

What we see, we see   

and seeing is changing

the light that shrivels a mountain   

and leaves a man alive

Heartbeat of the pulsar

heart sweating through my body

The radio impulse   

pouring in from Taurus

         I am bombarded yet         I stand

I have been standing all my life in the   

direct path of a battery of signals

the most accurately transmitted most   

untranslatable language in the universe

I am a galactic cloud so deep      so invo-

luted that a light wave could take 15   

years to travel through me       And has   

taken      I am an instrument in the shape   

of a woman trying to translate pulsations   

into images    for the relief of the body   

and the reconstruction of the mind.

Adrienne Rich


“Just what is Harvest Home?” I asked.

“Harvest Home?” [the Widow Fortune] peered at me through her spectacles. “Why, I don’t think I ever heard a pusson ask that before. Everybody knows what Harvest Home is.”

“I don’t.”

“That’s what comes of bein’ a newcomer. Harvest Home’s when the last of the corn comes in, when the harvestin’s done and folks can relax count their blessin’s… It means success and thanks and all good things. And this year’s the seventh year.”

“The seventh year?”

“Ayuh. For six years there’s just feastin’ and carryin’ on but the seventh’s a special one. After the huskin’ bee there’s a play, and – well the seventh year’s particular for us. Harvest Home goes back to the olden times.”

“When does it come?” “She looked at me as if I were indeed a strange species. “Never heard a pusson ask that either. Harvest Home comes when it comes – all depends.”

Thomas Tryon
Harvest Home


October 11, 2017

The bad thing about fear is it requires a reaction. Some hide. Some cry. But, like a dog condemned to a walled yard with no hope of escape or affection, some learn to bite.

Ellen Hopkins