Solar Motion, Explained

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash

Despite what the poets of old have implied
The sun doesn’t roll on a track or a guide
Or a rail or a beam that the angels have placed.
That’s the sort of thing people say when they’re shit-faced.

Every morning the sun doesn’t rise from the ground.
Each evening it doesn’t drop, sink or go down.
At noon it’s not hotter than it was at nine.
But if that’s how you have to describe it, well, fine.

Then declare that the sun migrates northward each spring,
And goes south in the winter. As if that’s a thing
for a blob of space gas doing nuclear fusion,
whose movement, to us, is a complete illusion.

You can say it flies westward in back of a chariot,
Or is dragged by a cowboy, ensnared in his lariat.
Or shot from a cannon, or pulled by a bear.
Or launched from a catapult; someplace, somewhere.

You could posit the sun is a runner, in sport.
Or a basketball arcing, in flames, across court.
Or a high ranking minister – a president’s aide
Hired fresh every morning. Each evening, waylaid.

There are thousands of stories to use to explain
All this movement that only occurs in our brain.
Into human and sun-centered camps, you can divvy us
But to all of our stories the sun is oblivious.

It just does what it does and we bask in its light.
Every morning it shines, but keeps shining all night
All the light we get is a gift. Undeserved,
shaped by how and by when and by where it’s observed.

The sun has its course, but it’s grander than us,
Far too large to observe, so it’s hard to discuss.
Which is why we reduce it in scope and in size
To a series of beautiful, obvious lies.

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