A thousand ptolemies
        lie dormant in my breast
    comfortable false conjectures
        that conveniently fit the facts
    universes so reasonable
        and yet so wrong
            at their heart.

Where is my observatory?
How shall I perceive it?
How can I know what is real?

O Show me the true center of things
    and show me the real order of living
    and let my ptolemies
        be left in their medieval dungeons
        where they belong.

Posted in Poetry and tagged .


  1. Such imaginative, poetic rationalism! I wonder if sleeping Ptolemies dream? And if they do, can those in whose breasts they reside sense the content of those dreams, see ptolomaic visions from the underworld of their own souls?Nicely done, Jim.

  2. nicely done…and how did you come up with that words I use all the time…don't BELIEVE that…thanks for sharing this

  3. I REALLY appreciate these comments! I don't use ptolemy all that frequently, but it is a perfect metaphor for what I was thinking about. I have always been interested in cosmology and astronomy, so since an early age I was familiar with ptolemaic cosmologies vs. the copernican system. I don't know how I came up with it, it just came. Thanks again for the comments!

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