“Fields of Hveen” by Barbara Sabol
Denmark should not forget the noble woman
who in spirit more than blood was my sister, Sophia,
that shining star in our Danish sky. ― Tycho Brahe
Now that the long days of summer are spent,
when only Venus and a blush of moon could buff
the abiding brightness, I am, against all protestation,
drawn to Tycho’s island to take measure of the heavens.
The sun sets before supper and a dome of darkness
curves above Uraniborg, where we will spend long evenings
in the observatory, plotting the planets’ altitude and spin.
I am learning the astrolabe’s secrets―
when I position the instrument so, allow
the plumb bead to reveal the arc of Mars, of Saturn,
I enter the whirl and gyre in an astonishment of bodies.
To divine celestial movement, yet not my own prospects!
When the last azimuth is set in ink I walk out
past the flat pasture lands, the wheat fields since reaped
to stubble, to the sandy cliffs of Backafall where starlight
ignites the waves.
I unpin my coif and lean into evening’s pitch, clockwork
of stars, the salt spray. Moon, my point of interest;
green glass sea my reference plane; the sky, the sky
my vector in every direction.
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Barbara Sabol’s Artist Statement: Barbara Sabol is the author of two poetry chapbooks and her work has most recently appeared in The Examined Life, San Pedro River Review, Ekphrasis, Common Ground Review, Pentimento, Chrysanthemum, Modern Haiku, Pudding Magazine and (forthcoming) The Comstock Review,
and in a handful of anthologies. She won the Mary Jean Irion Poetry Prize in 2014. Barbara earned an MFA from Spalding Univ. She reviews poetry books in the blog, Poetry Matters. She is a speech therapist and teacher who lives and works in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio with her husband and wonder dogs.