A Surveyor’s Mythology
I claim the stars high in your heaven, Zeus.
Cassiopeia’s chair, Orion’s faithful hound.
Arcturus, Leda’s twins, and Betelgeuse,
Are trusted friends, and to my service bound.
And when your fabled heaven still excites
To stirring odes, that reach for the sublime.
The silent splendor of your cloudless nights
Give me direction, latitude and time.
For me, Selene holds no secrets, Zeus.
I am familiar with your daughter’s changing mood.
The measured distance from her silver shoes
I use for the elusive longitude.
Your father Cronus long ago was sent,
To count the fleeting seconds that slip by,
When the rotation of the firmament,
Parades your stars ‘cross my observing eye.
Apollo’s days are my companions, Zeus.
I broke the secret code that governs their design.
Hyperion’s golden wagon pays me dues,
And gives me the direction of my line.
And when Astraeus’s winds obscure with clouds
His guiding lights, this does not tie my hand.
The voice of manmade stars to me now shouts:
"Here am I, master, signal your command."
I leave you high on your Olympus, Zeus
To rule reluctant gods, down here I govern still.
Your golden days, your silver nights I use
To bend your constellations to my will.
Your storied heaven, Hesiod’s delight,
On which Urania has cast her spell,
And all your ever wand’ring points of light
They are my servants, Zeus, and serve me well.