A Sonnet of the Moon

Look how the pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
And he, as long as she is in his sight,
With her full tide is ready her to honor.
But when the silver waggon of the moon
Is mounted up so high he cannot follow,
The sea calls home his crystal waves to moan,
And with low ebb doth manifest his sorrow.
So you that are the sovereign of my heart
Have all my joys attending on your will;
My joys low-ebbing when you do depart,
When you return their tide my heart doth fill.
So as you come and as you do depart,
Joys ebb and flow within my tender heart.

– Charles Best (1602)

Nightfishing in the Great Sky River

I stand on the threshold of the river of stars, and watch the celestial fishermen dip their nets to catch the aërytids and elusive sidhe that glide through the empyrean. Upon the riverbed the stars flash and glitter, pebbles amidst the sands of time, stretching into eternity. I look, I seek that hither shore, but even my eyes cannot pass the infinite horizon.

Ah, my beloved! I yearn for you, you who stand upon that other threshold, searching as I do, for something beyond my mortal vision. When shall I cross the great Sky River? When shall I behold your face? When will the Wanderer wander no more?

With apologies to David Lunde, whom I haven’t read at all. I just adore the title.

Stone Star Sea

In the beginning, Selene created the heavens.

Now the empyrean was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and a lady moved upon the waters.

A pale lady, lissome, translucent, robed in damask, organza and silk that phosphoresce within her light. She walks out from the shores of Heaven onto the empyrean. It is dark and void, and the waters are deep. Her movement cuts a delicate, luminous scythe across the transparent fathomless sea.

Upon the nacreous shore is strewn the jewels of Heaven – sapphire, garnet, peridot, topaz, aquamarine, ruby, chalcedony and chrysoprase, jasper, amethyst, opal, diamond and countless pearls, all made round and smooth by the endless tides of the astral ocean.

Her light shines in the uncomprehending darkness. But though she casts her gaze deep, and pours out her light to probe the hyaline depths, she discerns nothing. In the infinite depths of the empyrean there is nothing but void.

And Selene says, I have found naught here; in this void nothing is. So, let there be light! I will bring light into the astral waters, and in time they may be found by many.

So she takes the stones from the shores of Heaven – the sapphires and rubies, the peridots and opals, the diamonds and pearls – and casts them, one by one, into the waters. The stones from eternal paradise, lambent with the light of Selene, fall and are caught suspended in the empyrean.

Thus Selene created the lights of the empyrean, bright jewels in waters now no longer void, bringing light where there was darkness. And in time the stones became encased in wreaths of empyreal fire, and were called by other names, but all stars remember that they were once pebbles upon the shores of Heaven, unveiled in the empyrean only through the hand of Selene, and should they return to the nacreous shore they would become pebbles once more.

Later, much later, came the celestial fishermen, who would capture these stones in their quantum nets and draw them from the empyrean – quenching all star-fire as they did – and cast them back in distant waters, for reasons known only to immortals. And mortals upon the worlds would say that the movement of the stars speak the fates of those who look upon them in that hour of celestial change. But of how this came to be is another story.


(Written 06 March, 2008.)

And then, the stars came out. […]

[…] And there were a thousand, no ten thousand, no ten million billion stars filling the darkness. The stars were manifold and bright, and they did not care. Even then he had known: they do not care. If I breathe or do not breathe, live or die, the eyes that look from all around don’t care.

…Beneath his feet, space opened wide and let through yet another billion sparks of light.

He was suspended as a fly is held upon a vast telescopic lens. He walked on a water of space. He stood upon a transparent flex of great eye, and all about him, as on a night in winter, beneath foot and above head, in all directions, were nothing but stars.

…And Wilder stood again in space where God had stood before creating a world out of Chaos.

– The Lost City of Mars,
Ray Bradbury