Celestial Bodies

Freya Pickard featured my haiku, Jovian blemish, on June 16th, for the theme Celestial Bodies at Pure Haiku. It appears here, along with another four haiku written at the same time.

Silent Canyons_a

Celestial Bodies

Jovian blemish
mysterious formation
JunoCam target

~~~~~

floating, arms open
at one with vast emptiness
drifting, accepting

~~~~~

signals from afar
interstellar messages
timeless history

~~~~~

probing the heavens
seeking distant signs of life
discoveries wait

~~~~~

diamonds in the night
dust held in a million motes
wealth in the heavens

Image source: Astronomy Picture of the Day, and credited to NASA, JPL-CalTech, SwRI, MSSS, processed by Rick Lundh

For Love of Words

For Love of Words

For Love of WordsI do not refuse words
that come to me unbidden,
like the light of distant stars

when seen through bent mirrors,
for those whispered thoughts,
begging to be arrayed upon the page,

remind me what can be
revealed when I consider
the world in a different light.

Inspired by “On Love” by Peter Notehelfer at Gathering Stones Strung on Threads.

Image source: Astronomy Picture of the Day (ESA/Hubble & NASA)
(Horseshoe Einstein Ring – light of a distant blue galaxy bent by the gravity of a nearer red galaxy)

Last Waltz

Last Waltz

The Longest Sigh

In the winter of my life,
when stars have danced
and taken light
that would be mine
if only I had dared to dance,
then, skyward,
would I dare to glance
for answers and another
chance, to find it was
too late? For what are stars
that they should wait and not
perform another dance?

Not a pantoum, but inspired by Merril’s pantoum in response to the optional prompt for Day Twenty-two of National/Global Poetry Writing Month – to write a poem in which the impossible thing happens, from a choice of given statements, and this one was:
                    “The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.”

Image source: Astronomy Picture of the Day
(NGC 3344, from ESA/Hubble and NASA)

NaPoWriMo 2018

 

Night Light

Night Light.jpg

Night Light

I’ve seen your window,
wondered at its depth while questioning intent.
Timing is difficult enough when two bodies are side by side.
Factoring in the deception of distance, minus the variable of patience,
leaves a formula for disaster.

Of course it’s inviting.
I’ve always been drawn to the beauty of the unattainable,
knowing the lights will be out when I arrive,
but it’s safer here in the dark,
disillusion a matter of practicality.

The prompt for Day 6 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month is to use lines that are long and/or short in “a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks.” The examples included (Lorine Niedecker, Stanley Kunitz, and Amiri Baraka) are excellent.

A craft resource is offered – Alberto Ríos’s thoughts on the poetic line, which suggest using long lines (sometimes to an extreme) rather than breaking them. I’ve done that here, and I am not happy with it. I disagree with the argument presented by Rios, that breaking a line means it may as well be prose, requiring the reader to proceed down the page to follow a plot. Writing in a manner that gives those long lines makes me feel like I’m writing prose, and that is not my aim. I use line breaks and enjambment for a purpose – to open the possibility that the reader will focus for a moment on a particular word, or see an association that might not otherwise be made.

Below is the poem as originally written
(inspired by today’s photo at Astronomy Picture of the Day):

Night Light

I’ve seen your window,
wondered
at its depth,
while questioning intent.

Timing is difficult enough
when two bodies are side by side.
Factoring in the deception of distance,
minus the variable of patience,
leaves a formula for disaster.

Of course,
it’s inviting. I’ve always been
drawn to the beauty of the unattainable,
knowing the lights will be out
when I arrive,

but it’s safer here
in the dark,
disillusion
a matter of practicality.

NaPoWriMo 2018

 

A BIG BANG – a mistranslation

My response to the prompt for Day 5 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month is essentially a misinformed translation of a Dutch poem, inspired by a random photo. The prompt is to find a photo and translate a poem, in a language not known to me, so that it refers to the photo. Of course, this means the resulting poem will have no resemblance to the true translation of the original poem – it’s a writing exercise! My initial reaction was to ignore the prompt, but I’ve decided to give it a try. Please don’t hold this against me!
(A memory of a childhood understanding of a few very basic German words, including numbers, was the only “help” I had in pretending to decipher the original poem.)

A Big Bang

Astronomy Picture of the Day
(Russ Carroll, Robert Gendler & Bob Franke)

A BIG BANG

There is nothing standing
between us and the shoals
we see arranged
in tide-like structures,
light taken or given,
enriching us.

There is nothing standing
between us: leaving fossils
instead. Defining, discerning
ones and zeros – data
telling us nothing
of the ending, only
the beginning.

Coming or going, whether
sevenfold or untold,
which doors open
to guide us
will define our world,

a binary dance that offers
nothing but the truth
standing between us:
one faulty reading
of an interstellar message

parsed light years too late,
and synapses glaze over,
neurons responding to nothing
more than a boring signal.

A BIG BANG (the original)

er is niet meer nodig dan afstand om ons te zien zoals we zijn
het aangroeien en afsterven van tijdelijke structuren, licht
in het donker in het licht wij groeien in alle richtingen, een
woeker

er is niet meer nodig dan afstand om ons te zien: levende
fossielen
in steeds dezelfde banen die rekenen op enen en nullen omdat
wij
niet tellen, niet snel genoeg om start van finish te
onderscheiden

laat staan om thuis te komen. Roodkapje met de
zevenmijlslaarzen
haast zich door onderzeese glasvezeldraad een oor in aan de
andere kant
van de wereld. Een wolf, een grootmoe, een meisje en een jager

dansen samen een binaire chachacha. Ga van het pad schat
het vraagt niet meer dan afstand om ons te zien: een defecte cel
in een sterrenstelselhersenpan, een interstellaire boodschap
van

parasitair lichtgevend mos, synapsen van glasvezel maar dan
sneller
neuron aan / neuron uit, mens aan / mens uit
mensen als banaal signaal.

© 2014, Runa Svetlikova

A BIG BANG (translation, as provided at Poetry International Web)

nothing further is needed than distance to see us the way we are
the increase and decease of temporary structures, light
in darkness in the light we grow in all directions, rampant

further is needed than distance to see us: living fossils
perpetually in identical orbit describing ones and zeros, as we
don’t count, not quick enough to distinguish between the start and finish

let alone to come home. Little Red Riding Hood in seven-league boots
dashes through the undersea optic fibre into an ear the other
side of the world. A wolf, a grandma, little girl and huntsman

dancing a binary cha-cha-cha together. Get off the path my love
all that is needed is distance to see us: a defective cell
in a cranial firmament, an interstellar message of

parasitic, luminous moss, glass fibre synapses but quicker still
neuron on / neuron off, human on / human off
people as a banal signal.

NaPoWriMo 2018
(This is also linked to OpenLinkNight #217 at dVerse)

 

New year, new star

I’m sure that many who follow me in their reader also follow Jane, but I want to share this, regardless. Her writing can take many different directions (all of them good). In this, I find myself thinking of my life as one minuscule part of all that surrounds me, yet as an integral part of that greater whole, and that is a good thing.

Jane Dougherty Writes

This tanka is for Frank Tassone’s New Year challenge.

1024px-Orion_Nebula_-_Hubble_2006_mosaic_18000

Stars, sky-spangles shift,

slow and stately, wheels turning,

through time and cold space.

Each new year, another light

in the endless firmament.

View original post