by Bob Worcester



The early view was that the
     wandering planets were
Winged beings who moved at
     will through dark skies
Though now it's known
     they move in

Constraining forces hold
     their paths to circular,
Elliptical or slow spiraling
     around their centers
Though not so neat as plots
     on printed charts

Each planet brings in train
     its circling moons
To apogee and epigee where
     bending space
Brings tidal flux to bear on
     mantel rock and molten

These wanderings diverge;
     for each force
Pulls the others out of
     round and
Close encounters shape the
     curve of distant

Some objects burn through
     upper atmospheres
And some swerve into the
     trackless space between
the stars or find another
     stellar home to

So local chaos is contained
     in balanced force
And stable patterns seem to
     fit the human scale
But orbits deep in space-time
     wander with apparent



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