Uche Ogbuji

Transit of Venus, Fiske Planetarium, Boulder Colorado

We’re off work early, eyeing up the clouds,
Our children dancing sun-maker magic twist,
Blowing to whip wind to mist-shifting brisk.
Science and history are the idle chatter here:
From Cook’s transit sketches to what future
Space colony might carry Boulder’s gist
By the next match for this event on Earth.
The soul of Boulder funnels to the Fiske.

Queues around the amateur telescopes
Bursting into buzz about 4:05
When Venus first pin-punches through the sun disk;
Kids climb, eclipse shades pinned to eyes, the steep
Stone siding, supposing a closer look,
Ushered down by docents mindful of risk;
Odd carnival on the red rock commons—
The soul of Boulder funnels to the Fiske.

The crowd for eclipse just a fortnight ago
Set a world record for such a viewing;
Troll comments on the news went: “Oh Tsk! Tsk!
10,000 folks with nothing better to do?”
But if you’ve known the Flatiron influence,
The constant stroke of sun, and our obelisk
Of raised, massed hands reaching back up toward, toward…
The soul of Boulder funnels to the Fiske.

(Relevant location: Fiske Planetarium)
(Previously published in The Nervous Breakdown and Ndewo, Colorado)

El Cabeceo de Niwot

Whirl with me in this flatiron shade,
Spin yin-yang teardrops of our hips,
All limbs in strophe and antistrophe:
Firm as pine roots, supple as tulips.

Sway with me to the downslope winds
Tight to my rope cinched at silk mast
Of your bodice, our spread-sail canvas
Disdaining the stormy forecast.

Trip with me to the tumbleweed turn,
Our steps like seed-bearing branches,
Through restless legging of corrido
And strains of Chalino Sánchez.

Vals with me to divide of bedrock,
Springs falling away upon both sides,
Even the moon skips wax on wane
To fortnightly beat about our Ides.

Flow with me along St. Vrain creek,
Mingling with the Poudre and Cherry;
We are the sweet-laden South Platter
Bobbing refreshment to the weary.

Romp with me through this foundling land;
Sing your songs in our common creole—
They’re listening, those dancing bears,
Those elks engaged in caracole.

(Relevant location: Innisfree Bookstore)
(Previously published in Colorado Poet’s Center and Ndewo, Colorado)

Above Left Hand Canyon

I, buffalo-brown transplant, enticed hence
By what Cheyenne would call the pale-suited guide,
Squint past bark beetles engaged in arborcide,
Past insulted, host lodgepole whose shoots heighten
The kite-eye perspective, the skied sense
From green to pale green, from blue to pale blue,
And ash and ash we’ve smudged over bound of the two;

My sightline down this canyon frames two masteries
We residents must reconcile, one of the future,
Heaped with bluff productivity and culture
But sun-blocked by this waste of purchased items,

One age old, O Niwot, before the factories
And territory claims lodged beyond the pale;
Our sly-cinched tenure on this place trembles, frail,
While wrongs done Left Hand are past due the righting.

(Relevant location: Lefthand Canyon Road Entrance)
(Previously published in IthacaLit and Ndewo, Colorado)