As if a simulation

winter and water and weather set down
for the seeing

the lake’s eyelid crescent
a frost phase of moon on the ice
dusty and scabrous in the sky-blue

the Saturn ring at the other shore
a purple meringue in suspension
(shingles and spruce-tips)

aligned in equanimity
a template of the galaxy
in a not human-friendly gallery
serene    frozen

the flagpole-placid ray
beyond the unsauntered
golf course saucers of snow

that far from the also-profound profusions of summer


some plodded perspiring August
to a planetarium and its tourist rings
for the matinee

telling of the constellations
and the racket of the rocketship’s
special effects granted
their hour

lavaland to gelid Pluto’s ghost of a globe

and somewhere unawares
were acquainted where will-‘o-the-wisp
seemed possible as wave and particle

“We have entered the atmosphere of Jupiter”
and a williwaw wind

in the thunder
the active spark the godsends
inchoate clouds slaking
the placeworn traveler
reminding of the rain at home


and too close
to home a later summer
the Shoemaker-Levy comet
made cool Jupiter
overcast with brimstone

stuck in its magnetic flypaper

strong scapegoat planet
for surmising
that nuclear war might not be
calculated as
a comet was
KATHERINE HOLMES' poetry and short stories have appeared in more than 50 journals.  Soon, her short story collection Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories, will be published by Press Americana.  Her middle grade fantasy, The House in Windward Leaves, is recently released at  More information is available here: