Native Star by Stan Renfro
Two collections of poetry by Stan Renfro
All in Orbit by Stan Renfro




Cats, supine, must dream a lot.

Dogs and humans do.

Scoshee dream ran over hills

Tethered to her leash.

Mental waif, unhooked, her joy

A speed of purpose knew

As she circled me, ascending

Up the forest path.



Meadowlarks reanimate

The sage and pinon hills.

Singular as comets are

A universe reveals

That the known can never be

Only that before.

Intrusions invigorate

And what was known is more.


Any layman can admit

A comet into view.

It takes keen observers

To first see jets renew

From old hibernation

In an Oort Cloud

And careen through planet orbits

By a sun's abode.

This one nearing Jupiter,

Already fanned aflame,

In the languages of current men

Receives a name.


Name a bunch of comets

For who sees them first.

The eyes of men are on them

As they groove around the sun.

Eventually a solar surgery

Of heat will burst

Their forms in melting raiments into nothing

As light's done.


Get a comet close enough

And all will fathom light

As a cause approaching heat,

Justifying fright.

Near enough should beauty be

To contemplate, and yet

Far enough away to entertain

And then forget.

We will gladly let

four millenia intervene

After this one fans a star

And leaves the local scene.


Our iron core is faster than

The mantle; gyres spin.

Luckily alive, we learn

About the origin

Of planetary space, why we

can mentally consist

Of elemental matter with

A choice to save or waste

The forms of life around us,

Their common destiny

That is uncommercial, designated

As "for free."


Fragile disposition

Of lights within the sky,

Comets punctuate their veering

Orbit by the sun.

Ellipses foreshorten

As an end is nigh.

There they flame the brightest,

Fragmentarily foregone.


Call a comet colored and

Put it through the sky.

Two moons wax and wane

Before all of it goes by.

A cosmos of coicidence

guides it to surcease

When the final rendezvous with sun

Frames light's release.


Comet nuclei may seem

The eyes of inner space

As they jet their gases

Going by, before they fade

Into outer orbits that are shut

So won't efface

The remnants of ices mixed

With boulders that are made

to burn again, erode at last,

Fragment into gleams,

Shatter distant glimmers,

Shake loose dust upon starbeams.


Age just makes you brighter

Each circuit by the sun -

Worn by steady friction, ice

Gassing jets in space.

We don't need a tour guide

To witness this one.

You elapse sequential sets of pictures

For the race

That stares out from an orbit

Safe upon a stone

Heavier than visitants

Disposed to shear a gown.


Comets floresce before the sun,

A quiet process never done

Without a loss of mass, and then

Demise before an orb of men.

Inner-recess where warmth has made

Life's process reality -

Comets brighten as they fade,

Cast largest at their perigree,

And then remove to outer space

An unseen Oort Cloud away,

To other lifetimes light a trace

for cosmic conscious tribes to see.

At last, implosion by a star

will usurp the chevron glow,

but myriad space ices store,

Waiting for their solar show.


Humans age from gray to white

But comets disappear,

Having each pass added light

As we feel palsy near.

Immolation is as natural as

Brittle turn bone

(Having lived a little while

On an Earth we've known).

Mineral assemblages, but add

The sparkle, life;

House the mind within the skull

And make language its brief.


A bout of time with comet

We share with Babylon.

They must have seen the same

Illuminary in a gown

Sweep on over, leave a trace

Of wonder and relief:

Apotheosis given vent,

Less matter than belief.


Solid as a comet come

We saw the light go by.

Comas are invisible but tails

cast the eye

Across a sweep of deeper space

Wherein the quasars dim

Amplify dimensions of a life

We only skim.


Somewhat as moonlight, a small blur,

A comet leaving sun,

Has left a new legacy

Upon an ancient one.

Now we see the sky can be

A vault of changing light,

A coma glowing double tails

for numbers of one night.



Astronauts may sit and ride

A rocket into space

But it takes more gumption

To orbit Encino Place.

My mother's easy chai is just

Above the common floor

But her principles now guide

That populace to care

For love baked in common breads

And virtue minus rings.

Elevators passing hear the

Lullabies she sings.

Signals are not sent by codes

A ball of metal beams.

For a life replete she hums

Her arias by friends.


She cannot court a comet

Or even see it by,

Hobbled by arthritis and

A loosening of eye.

Besides, her side of building

Faces to the south;

No balcony for her to view

Illuminary truth

That ices spend upon the sky

And orbits glow in space,

A golden comet coming nigh,

More time upon her face.


Your crown is not apparent -

Subliminal, in hair

Silver white and clean,

You hobble, unaware

That strangers note your passing:

A little girl once called

And ran and gave you flowers.

Now your walks are stalled.

An arthritic shoulder blade

Gives you one chance more

To subdue discomfort while

Emitting love in air.


The timbre of your voice, so constant:

Anytime I call

Melody inheres in words

No matter what you say.

I know you never castigate,

Carp, slight, or demean;

Laughter and forgetfulness

Encore remembered dream.

A quest to keep the family whole,

Stay modest, unadorned,

Make homes clean, eventually

Leaves the body worn.


Dough escorted through a change

Becomes a glob made sweet.

Formulate a recipe and

Justify with heat.

Evidence of inner life,

A platter left with crumbs.

"Here comes Connie's cookies!"

The Encino host succumbs.


Ferdinand smelled flowers,

Too bullish to resist

Passion for the blossoms

That topped the grass he ate.

Consuelo overpowers

With cookies made for free

And serves, waitressless,

Warm mounded on a plate.


For Easter they returned the plate

With resultant crumbs.

The coffee people downstairs ate

All the cookies served.

Those enjoy, who sit and wait.

The energy that comes

From a sense of purpose sates

On formulaic sums.


When I could not pay my way

You paid it for me.

Now you help Alfredo extricate

From jail, free

To follow your initiative

And care for every life.

Many more than children

Have sensed, serene and safe,

A satisfaction near you

Maturing into joy,

Your energy - immaculate, clear -

Beside me since a boy.


The accoutrements of movement

- a walker, a cane -

Now indispensable, were once

Irrelevant as brace.

Memories become recurrent,

Forgetfulness between.

Joy's, moreover, omnipresent,

A moving release

Of tunes hummed in the kitchen

And smiles to the few

Who age upon the fifth floor and

By glass a city view.


The lights make life look magic

Arranged from up above.

A fifth floor window frames the scene,

A mother's heightened love.

The man she married did not last

The vows that made the ring.

She singly raised the family then.

Awakened now, she'll sing

As she cleans the bathroom

And keeps an inner space

Clutter free, arranged within

Her habitude of peace.


Great grandmother to be,

Generational the flow,

Time the largest river in which

Worlds, too, will go.

Hobble on your walker

And recount the memory

When you alley-ambled miles

And ran to be free

Of the grade school bully.

Bones decant of strength,

Life a single unit's still

Abbreviating length.

Each of us a story

In the borrowed blood of race,

A choice of spoken language

On a planet's moving place.


The dog wags dreams away in air,

The cat is out and in.

The heater keeps on starting up.

A comet veers, as thin

As light can cast a veil

Toward an eastern dawn

Where rounds in orbit by a moon

The planet that we're on.