At the start of the year, the Archer wears boots;
His ascendance is temporary
Because a cover on naked toes imputes
Behoof to hoofs in January-February.
Who needs two leather bags to climb the ether?
Capricorn despises paltry shoes;
Nor Taurus nor Aries abide such travesties either
That Gemini anyway will have had to remove.
And hardly need, from under the ice, weigh in
The Fishes on the virtues of the fin,
Surpassing all phalanges for both grace and duty;
The Crab and Scorpion scrabble through water and air
And nebulae, but Pisces transit beauty
In ion streams and dust’s transfigured wear.
Summer: Leo rises in the heat;
Firm in its footing, Libra takes no stand
On starry homologies — claw or paw or hand;
The year’s weighed out in garb, metacarpals, and feet.
NOTES for Students of English
The Archer – Sagittarius
Behoof – [oo pronounced as in “loot’] Benefit, advantage
Weigh in – To add one’s opinion to a discussion
Phalanges – The bones in the hand or foot of a vertebrate
Pisces – [Pronounced PI-seez, the vowels as in “pie” and “freeze”] The constellation of two fish.
Weighed out – Divided into parts
Two leather bags
“When I was a child it was a general belief among the common people of Japan that Europeans had feet like horses’ hoofs, because they wore leather bags on their feet instead of sandals.” From A Daughter of the Samurai by Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto (1874-1950)