It’s that time of year again, when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet and our skies light up with shooting stars. (They aren’t stars in the photo, of course; I don’t think they’re even moon daisies: but daytime weeds are a lot easier to photograph than the sky at night.)
In the village in Spain, you only had to step outside onto the lawn and look up, and there was the Milky Way speckle-splashed across the sky as if someone had flicked a paintbrush from one side of the valley to the other. Continue reading “star feature”
It seems wrong not to post to the blog with a poem for the Perseid meteor shower. Unfortunately, I don’t have any shooting-stars poems that haven’t been posted previously. Instead, the best I’ve come up with is a picture of this glorious miniature sun which is currently flowering in my back garden: Those who want the poetry will find some if they click the link above. And I’ll go out and star-gaze later on and see if I can have something new written in time for next year.
Reading about Makemake on the BBC reminded me of a poem I wrote back in 2006 when they demoted Pluto from planet to dwarf planet.
In the dog house
My Very Excellent Mother used to be
the soul of generosity, and her beneficence
a universally-acknowledged truth.
Around the world, students rejoiced
when they recalled that she Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.
But as time passes, so it seems, the universe
contracts; mom’s liberality is capped
and scientists decree that students
will make do with Nothing.
I’m banished to my room. I must redo
my fourth grade science project.
I’m still thinking about the perseids, but, even if I hadn’t dropped my camera and broken most of its functionalities, I don’t think it was ever good enough – and I am not skilled enough – to take worthwhile pictures of the night sky. Instead of the Milky Way and meteor scatter, then, the best I can do for a field of stars is these wildflowers that I saw last month in south west England:
Yesterday‘s narrator had all she wished for, which might be why the poem was so short. Today’s narrator doesn’t, though she seems to have realised that wishing on a star won’t help:
The night I met you fire flared in the skies
and seams of gold were visible across
the coalmine dark. Nature had purged the dross
of normal life, it seemed. We raised our eyes
to watch with joy as stars fell round about:
each one a dream of summer love, a wish,
each an unspoken promise, each a kiss
that fanned desire and silenced truth and doubt.
And so we boldly told each other lies,
pretending to believe they could come true;
we watched those stars like lovers, though we knew
that we could not escape existing ties.
At heart, we knew the stars are fixed, not free,
set in their courses, much like you and me.