Look Up and See the Music

Psalm 19:1

In winter, when the atmosphere is still
And cold, and when the nighttime sky is clear,
The stars and planets, fire and ice, blast chill-
Blazed, hot-white light so bright as to seem near.

No “Twinkle, twinkle little star,” for in
Mid-winter, starlight streams as steady as
A hundred million laser beams, each pin-
Pricked point a note in God’s celestial jazz.

A Divine score laid out in manuscript
Composed by God and played as Dixieland
With angel trumpet solos riffed and lipped—
The Milky Way God’s star-struck marching band.

But blinkered eyes nor godless tone-deaf ears
Shall see or hear God’s music of the spheres.



James A. Tweedie is a retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He has written and published six novels, one collection of short stories, and three collections of poetry including Mostly Sonnets, all with Dunecrest Press. His poems have been published nationally and internationally in The Lyric, Poetry Salzburg (Austria) Review, California Quarterly, Asses of Parnassus, Lighten Up Online, Better than Starbucks, Dwell Time, Light, Deronda Review, The Road Not Taken, Fevers of the Mind, Sparks of Calliope, Dancing Poetry, WestWard Quarterly, Society of Classical Poets, and The Chained Muse. He was honored with being chosen as the winner of the 2021 SCP International Poetry Competition.

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12 Responses

  1. James Sale

    Beautiful – love that concluding couplet especially with the ‘tone-deaf ears’ rhyming with ‘music of the spheres’. Lovely in itself and also – true! Great stuff James.

  2. Norma Pain

    Are they all too busy looking left to look up? Thank you for this starry poem James.

  3. Jeff Eardley

    Mr Tweedie, I love “God’s celestial jazz.” A most enjoyable musical, astronomical romp around the universe. Thank you.

  4. Damian Robin

    Beautiful. I don’t know the psalm but admire the visual descriptions of light in majesty. Nicely paced and passing through the jittery-bug of jazz – and “The Milky Way God’s star-struck marching band” is a another neat visual touch -to a magnificent familiarity of ‘music of the spheres’ and attributing it to God, naturally.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Yes, Cheryl, I have captured several when taking time exposures of the night sky during meteor showers. It is always a kick when I catch one! The original picture covers about twice the sky as shown in this cropped version.

      Taken with a Canon G7X pocket camera attached to a small pocket tripod that was sitting on the driveway of my house.

  5. C.B Anderson

    Absolutely uplifting, James. It’s good to know that someone sees the winter sky clearly. O, the exquisite geometries present there! — a cosmological proof (or I might say, “demonstration”) of the existence of God.

  6. Satyananda Sarangi

    James Sir, greetings!

    This is sheer majestic stuff. The weekend is made.

    Thank you.

  7. Cynthia Erlandson

    I love it — the musical metaphor, especially. And the rhyme of manuscript/lipped — and the fun enjambments!

    • James A. Tweedie

      ‘Cause, “Was hen the saints go marching in, I want to be there in that number!” That’s why! It’s happy music, doncha think! Bach and Vivaldi, too, of course. For God loves all kinds of good music. Not to mention harps, timbrels and dancing! A lot of music going on up there!


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