By Maureen Tolman Flannery
Zenith is that place in cosmic space
directly above where you stand,
a vector upward
from the crown of your head
straightway to the star
raying grace so directly upon you
there is no chance of its going astray.
Zenith makes a lightning rod of the vertical body.
Its height pulls you upright
to your full stature,
stretches you true as a plumb-line,
makes of you a harp-string.
Strung from a star,
down through your spine into the ground,
this unseen line would reach the nadir,
a point completely beneath.
Connect the two and you are juncture
having, at any moment, counter poles extending—
up through darkness into starlight
and down through the grave density of rock to a fiery
Consider now the flaneur
who goes always midway
between up-reaching heights
and the deepest low,
imprinting on the streets the footfalls of his stroll
from one to another of his haunts,
wanting something he cannot name,
meandering without observable purpose
about the place where he stays,
changing his course
at the seeming whim of tree-borne breezes
that spew the pollen of blossoms into his path.
Imagine now, how he gyrates,
with his every bend and gesture,
the great unseen line through his backbone
that links the cosmos to the center of the earth.