Thursday, March 2, 2006

Jupiter Rising

Jupiter, Rising at Nightfall              /1

The sun is gone, the seabirds call;
Red sky is fled, and all's in thrall.
From the west, cold zephyrs hasten;     /2
Seamen, sails and lashings fasten.

O'er the sea, the storm cloud gathers;
Darkest green, the heaving ocean,
Moves to winds that fleck with foam
Waves that chase the seagulls home.

Westward, forkéd lightning flashes;
Thunder follows, deeply growling.
Eastward, see, a lantern rises --
Jove's great planet, brightly shining.

Deus omnipotens, deus pater!
Almighty god, of gods the father!
Lord of lightning, lord of thunder!
He who splits the skies asunder!

Sudden, fearsome lightning blazes;
All around, Jove's thunder crashes!
Swirling dark, the storm is here,
Beckoned by Great Jupiter!             /3

Arjun Janah < >
Brooklyn, New York
January 2004


1.  This came to mind during a walk, after sunset, by the bay
in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  A bright star was rising over the
darkening, wind-tossed  waters. Storm clouds were gathering
over land and sea, and there were flashes of lightning in the distance.

2.  In English literary usage, a zephyr is a light breeze. But in Greek,
Zephyros was, specifically, the wind from the west.

3.   In India, where we were born, the first monsoon thunderstorm
delighted our hearts. But here, as the cold winds blew and the
storm approached, I had a foreboding of impending violence.

It had been been but two years since the attacks on the towers
in Manhattan.

A few days later, my sister Monua, who had moved from New York
to the west coast, died there, at age 44.


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