Collected in a transit van
the Japanese astronomer
takes us out of the village
and across two rutted fields
to his tiny observatory.

It is a clear, cold evening;
the heavens are looking beautiful;
we are shown the stars
as they appear before our naked eyes.

He points out the constellations
and the planets, Jupiter and Saturn;
deep inside the milky way
helps us to clearly see
the position of the Southern Cross.

Whilst observing the sky
we catch site of the Mir spaceship
one week before it is due to
splash down somewhere in the sea
between here and Chile.

Inside the observatory
a large telescope is trained on Jupiter.
Through it we can plainly view
swirling gas clouds and four moons
one to the norwest;
three almost in a so'west line.

Outside in the field
smaller telescopes are set up.
we behold Saturn,
its magnificent rings resplendent.
All I can say is

We also look closely
at the Jewel-box constellation
and the Orion nebulae.

we return to the warmth
of our lakeside lodge
dreaming of uncountable stars.


Romanian translation by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Account of the author's visit to Lake Tekapo Observatory
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