Echoes Through Time

Time wasn’t, then was,

once, the universe banged,

whirred, whispered

echoing across space

melody carried by stars

(adding harmony)

and cosmic dust

(rhythm)

sound dancing through Saturn’s rings

echoes reverberating through oceans

sensed in two heartbeats joined

echoing

somewhere, someplace

time was and is

 

A quadrille for dVerse. Host De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, asks us to use the word “echo.”

 

I was thinking about space and then listened to this, Audra McDonald singing “Somewhere” from West Side Story.  🙂

Explorer: NaPoWriMo

Explorer,

what wonders will you see?

As you strike out boldly through the clouds,

spectrometers reading the signs

checking for radio and plasma waves

no dragons in your starry ocean, wine dark,

unmanned, but still the sirens call

(listen)

you sail,

not searching for gold,

not racing for the Northwest Passage,

but pursuing knowledge

taking science, applying it

sharing what you’ve learned—

visions—

(we see them, too)

mileposts and revelations

like life,

weathered,

changed,

scored by the elements,

(floating)

yet I wonder if you’ve heard the music,

of the stars and rings?

Do they chime, do they sing

in contrapuntal melodies,

weaving time and space?

Ancient wisdom there, eternal tides and waves,

(listen)

before you vanish

out of range

(the siren calls)

out of contact

alone,

the explorer

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“This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 7 degrees below the ring plane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 18, 2017.” Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

 

Today is Day 26 of NaPoWriMo.   I misread the prompt, which was to write a poem about some sort of explorer from the future looking at something here on Earth.  I guess mine is the opposite–inspired by today’s Google Doodle.  I’ve also used Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt words: Strike/Score/Race/Take/ Read

Rocks, Rivers, and Stars: NaPoWriMo

 

 

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Delaware River, National Park, NJ 

I stand at the river and watch the small waves break against the rocks, feel the ancient tidal rhythm. Hear its’ call. You dwelled here once, it says. I pick up a stone from the beach, rolling it about in my hand. Its’ hard surface is worn smooth by the water that has kissed it softly, repeatedly over time. Created thousands of years ago by heat, water, and air, this stone has journeyed along the river, till I, born of heat, too, and composed of water and minerals, worn by time, softened by kisses, pick it up.

 

World born in fire,

stellar dust swirls, drifts, and falls,

carried in our genes

speckles of cosmic magic

in my eyes gazing at you

 

This is Day 14 of NaPoWriMo. I’m off prompt today. I’ve written a haibun for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge instead. The prompt words were hard and soft.

 

 

 

 

February Hearts and Lions

Monday Morning Musings:

 

“And February was so long that it lasted into March

And found us walking a path alone together,

You stopped and pointed and you said, ‘That’s a crocus,’

And I said, “What’s a crocus?” and you said, “It’s a flower,”

I tried to remember, but I said, “What’s a flower?”

You said, “I still love you.”

–Dar Williams, “February”

 

“This whole earth which we inhabit is but a point in space. How far apart, think you, dwell the most distant inhabitants of yonder star, the breadth of whose disk cannot be appreciated by our instruments?”

–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

 

February grayness brightens with a flower

teasing us before the snow.

The snow moon haunts and taunts

the wind blows,

wild wolves howling in the night,

winter darkness,

and yet dawn comes,

and so will spring.

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First Crocus, National Park, NJ

 

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Watching the February snow. National Park, NJ

 

My daughters and I,

in separate locations,

celebrate our snow day

(though the inch or two in New Jersey

does not compare to Boston’s blizzard)

we share our thoughts,

in text messages

(technology that did not exist when I young)

throughout the day,

as if we were wondering in and out of rooms—

separated by space,

but instantly connected in time,

what we are cooking and baking–

meatballs, lentil soup, artisan bread, sweet potato nachos–

deciding banana bread with added chocolate chips

makes it both bread and cake,

suitable for breakfast or dessert,

one daughter says she just watched, Finding Dory,

and cried,

but then we cry over everything,

TV shows, books, commercials,

other daughter says, “I cried when I burnt toast the other day,

but the point is that you should watch the movie.”

My husband chimes in with a message that he is saving this conversation,

“It is SO my family.”

 

A few days later my husband and I see the movie, Lion,

and my tears flow,

I think it is good I’m not watching it with my daughters,

all three of us sobbing in the theater,

though I notice my husband discreetly wiping his eyes.

I think again about technology,

the nineteenth-century invention, the train,

that separates the five-year-old boy from his family,

that little boy with the heart and spirit of a lion,

a twentieth-century plane separates them ever father

across bodies of water to Tasmania

how a twenty-first-century invention, Google Earth,

brings them back together

It turns out that we see the movie in February,

and it was in February that Saroo Briefley reunited with his family.

 

On a February night I gave birth to one daughter,

and on a February night three years later, I gave birth to her sister,

and so, we celebrate birthdays

with wine and chocolate

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around the holiday of love

hearts and love

chocolate and wine

 

I think of the brilliant February moon,

its light shining through the kitchen window

making me stop and stare,

and gaze at the sky–

technology leads us out to the stars,

to our moon’s craters

and to Saturn’s rings,

Valentine’s love from Cassini

 

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“Splendid Saturn,”NASA Image, PIA06594/ NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

 

I wake during the night to hear

February’s winds,

wild horse gods,

stallions that gallop in

and seed the ground,

for spring

will come again–

until then, there is chocolate, wine,

and memories.

 

A number of New  Jersey wineries have special wine and chocolate events close the weekend before Valentine’s Day. This year we went to one at Heritage Winery in Mullica Hill, NJ.

Trailer for Lion.

Moon, Monsters, and Hope

harvest_moon-_7916064846By Phil Sangwell from United Kingdom (Harvest moon.) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Monday Morning Musings:

I gaze at the Harvest Moon

from my kitchen door.

Glorious, golden, and full,

she hums a message of hope,

and winks at me from the star-lit sea.

 

She appears, full moon

just before the autumnal equinox

gleaming and glowing for farmers’ gleaning,

giving them light in the darkness.

 

She’s a moon for lovers,

and for lunatics and werewolves, too.

Do you see them walking through the streets of Soho?

Lon Chaney and the queen? Aaooooooo!

 

Was it the call of the moon that brought to Whitechapel

a demon, a golem, a monster, a man

who ripped and mutilated bodies

and then vanished in the dark? Vanished in time?

 

We think monsters walk only in the night,

hiding in the shadows,

hiding under beds,

but some appear in daylight, too,

disguised as men.

They were there when the ovens glowed red hot,

the ovens that worked full-time, day and night

and yet people still deny they existed,

these extermination factories

though the stench of death rose in the air

and ashes drifted like snow.

 

And monsters are here now still, spreading hatred

spreading lies, burying truth like old bones,

denial, the métier of despotic regimes

We see the movie, Demon,

my husband and I

a Polish wedding goes horribly wrong,

the groom possessed by a dybbuk,

a Jewish woman who lived in the town

(I did say horribly wrong.)

A nightmare of a wedding,

but it goes on,

the guests getting drunker and wilder,

the bride’s parents denying anything is wrong,

until her father says,

“We must forget what we didn’t see here.”

Ghosts of the past haunt people and nations.

 

And so it goes,

bury the bones, bury the truth

but the truth is out there,

so I’ve heard,

and history is bound to be repeated.

But bones can be dug up,

And truth can be recovered.

 

After the movie, we see a wedding party

they are smiling and taking photos,

to remember the moment, the joy,

a record of a golden day.

At Independence Mall,

love glowing, love growing

in the cradle of liberty.

 

And so, we strive, we try.

Men have reached the moon

and ships have sailed past it.

We seek to tell other beings we are here

here on this pale blue dot,

the third planet from our sun.

Our golden record,

gold like our sun,

gold like the Harvest Moon,

is journeying, telling our story.

It carries the music of Berry and Bach,

bagpipes and flutes, a mother’s kiss, a baby’s cry,

the sounds of love, the sounds of creativity.

 

 

So shine on Harvest Moon,

way up in the sky,

Hum your song, do your magic.

Down here, we love and we kill,

We’re angels and demons,

We’re romantics and scientists

We’re human, fallible and strong.

We live in hope.

the_sounds_of_earth_record_cover_-_gpn-2000-001978-1

By NASA/JPL (The Sounds of Earth Record Cover) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

This week my husband and I watched the season finale of Season 4 of Ripper Street, a British show about police detectives in 19th century London in the area of Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper once lurked. This season, the show focused on Jewish characters who had fled Russian pogroms. Some in the neighborhood believed there was a golem attacking people there.

 

Yesterday we saw the movie, Demon (d. Marcin Wrona, 2015), released in U.S. September 2016. You can see a trailer and reviews here.

 

On the radio show, Science Friday this past week, there was a segment on the Golden Record. They are also asking for suggestions from listeners of what they would include in a new golden record.

According to legend, werewolves turn from their human form to wolves at the full moon. “Werewolves of London” is a song by Warren Zevon.

Through the Wormhole, or Go Ask Alice

 

 

Should you ever decide to visit a black hole,

fall perhaps, on your way in space

brace yourself, there could be sound

found there,

beware, oh!

No, not that you’d hear the song,

long as you might want to, but in space

bass notes aren’t heard at will

still, the black holes sing.

 

Those who study such things

(strings and theories and time)

minds more clever than my own,

tone academic, say space-time curves,

swerves, in a gravitational singularity.

 

But–

but should you survive,

alive, say after your starship takes a wrong turn,

learn this now,

somehow, look for the back door

for at its center

enter, and this leads to a wormhole.

 

There you’ll get “spaghettified”

Up-and-downsified, stretched, enlarged,

charged, or changed

rearranged, like Alice after she ate the cake,

mistake, or like the largest piece of pasta ever,

never say never, (I won’t judge) and then pushed whoop-de-doo

through the wormhole, You,

to another part of the universe.

 

I’d say, the sharpest trick ever,

whenever, yet not for me.

See, I prefer spaghetti to eat,

feet on ground, plate on table

stable, and able from there I

sigh, and gaze up high.

 

This is in response to Secret Keeper’s Writing Prompt

Using these words: Sound/Sharp/Clever/Judge/Still

I wrote an echo poem.

Here’s some information on “spaghettification”

And on the songs of black holes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Sees Him There

 

PIA17007-800x600

“This is a composite photo, assembled from separate images of Jupiter and comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, as imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in 1994.Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered by astronomers Carolyn and Eugene M. Shoemaker and David Levy on March 24, 1993. It was the first comet observed to be orbiting a planet — in this case, Jupiter — rather than the sun. The effect of Jupiter’s tidal forces had already torn the celestial body apart and, eventually, the fragments collided with Jupiter between July 16 and 22, 1994.” Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver and E. Smith (STScI) and J. Trauger and R. Evans (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

 

They met and married, made a life

raised a family, not much strife.

She stayed home, he studied the stars,

shine of planets, Jupiter, Mars

 

At fifty it’s her turn to gaze,

to view the comets and the blaze

of their tails burning brightly

own the sky, see new things nightly

 

When death came and took him too soon,

she sent his ashes to the moon.

Over the tree, it rises now

he smiles from there above the bough

 

This poem is in response to Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt. The words were: Own/turn/shine/tree/star.

The poem is about Carolyn and Eugene (Gene) Shoemaker. Carolyn was featured on this StoryCorps episode, where she talks about their life together. Gene is the only person whose ashes have been left on the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juno

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Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Dancing among the stars,

boldly going where none have gone before,

she orbits the gas giant. No small feat.

A world of wonder lies ahead.

a long-standing project, a long awaited voyage

standing on the shoulders of giants,

Juno, consort of Jupiter,

but powerful in her own right,

daughter of Saturn, mother of Mars,

Queen of the Universe,

she moves, traveling millions of kilometers,

a five-year journey to unknown parts.

But still she sings,

she sings a song of perfection,

chasing the truth,

seeking knowledge,

inspiration and inspirational

exploring the unknown,

she soars, flying high, flying effortlessly,

spinning a brief tale of glory

that will end with a crash,

but she will live on in science, immortal.

 

This is response to Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt. This week’s words: move/small/wonder/dance/part. The line about Juno singing comes from this:

“Through tones Juno sang to us and it was a song of perfection,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno Project Manager, referring to the audio signal the probe sent to indicate it was in orbit. It’s from this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falling Rocks

PIA17089-MarsMoons-PhobosPassesDeimos

Phobos passing in front of Deimos, By NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Universal truths in space, / on earth

matter collides/ fear and terror

create new worlds/  bodies lost, crashing

of giant rocks/ bombed to submission

slowly falling/ shattered bones

hit the ground/ held there for a moment

drift, buried/ look, see this, a testament

absorbed/ blink and they are gone forever

 

When I was listening to the radio this morning I heard about the horrible car bombing in Baghdad and also a story about the two moons of Mars. It struck me how violent the universe is, and we humans make it worse.

The two moons of Mars are Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos (terror/dread). They were named after the sons of Ares, Greek god of war. His Roman name was Mars.

You can read about the moons of Mars here. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jell-O That We Swim In

PIA17567-800x600

“Different Flavors of Black Holes” Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Yale University

 

Far away, in distances

measured by the speed of light

over a billion light-years

black holes collide and then merge,

rippling the space-time sea with waves,

distances shift, a small change

a bounce along our space-time

flexible, wiggly Jell-O,

flavors of the universe

in spectrum colors streaming,

cosmological redshift

 

In another galaxy,

music plays, people dance, laugh

multi-colored stars mingle,

then worlds collide, and death spirals

black density traps the light

until it vanishes, mostly

but for faint trails, streaming hope

rippling the space-time sea

like gravitational waves

 

In this article about the second finding of gravitational waves from black holes, researcher Gabriela González, said of space, “It’s like a Jell-O that we all swim in.”

Here is the sound of two black holes colliding: