Whistling with the Moon

I dream of the moon

and gossamer dancers

leaping high,

circling and swaying to the music of the stars,

sounds surrounding us in space,

(space whistlers)

music of electromagnetic waves

harmonizing like weird birds

(glowing birds)

each a phoenix

rising from ash

layered with a flood of thought,

human words,

floating upwards

growing, collecting more matter,

a massive accretion disk of drifting memories

surrounding a black hole.


or not,

but haven’t you wondered where they go

when they vanish?


joys, fears–

how easy it is to glide, slide, hover, hang

like the moon

a sliver of thought grows full

in time

humming and full of energy

released into space



I’m fascinated by space sounds. You can read about and hear the electromagnetic waves here.

I was also influenced by the moon and accretion after reading Robert Okaji’s marvelous “Letter from Austin.”

I used Secret Keeper’s Words here, but substituted “massive” for huge.

The prompt words were : Easy/Flood/Thought/Fear/Huge



By Chrisrobertsantieau (Own work), “Constellations,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Shimmering, flickering, the stars appear,

glimmering patterns revealed. The Seer,

sees love flowing (in dark she is freer),

bewitched, enraptured by the twinkling spheres,

she casts her spells before they disappear.


This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge.  The fiftieth! Well done, Jane!

She writes, ““The rules are simple, a single stanza of five lines of ten syllables each. The five end of line words all rhyme.” The rules may be simple, but following them never is. 🙂


Stardust and Wonder

Monday Morning Musings:

Embed from Getty Images


“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

–Carl Sagan, Cosmos

“The eyes of her who passed to glory, while below turned to the starry heavens; her own discoveries of the comets and her share in the immortal labours of her Brother William Herschel, bear witness of this to later ages.”

–from the epitaph of Caroline Herschel


they’re born

they die

they wander

we wonder

at their wandering

they glow

they grow

then burst

and go




Young stars

burn a brilliant blue

we see their light

turned red

millions of years later


colors changing



through time and space



William Herschel

discovered Uranus

and the fairy moons

Titania and Oberon,

moons of Saturn,

Enceladus and Mimas,

glowing lanterns

beacons in the sky

he catalogued nebulae

and star clusters,

4,000 or more—

in case you’re keeping score

of his accomplishments,

he built telescopes,

including one 40-feet-long

at the time, the largest

an unwieldy,

but undeniably powerful tool.

William studied light, too,

colors and prisms

not just red or blue

hues invisible

the light we cannot see


beyond human sight

but not imagination.



his sister,

helped him

by his side



organizing his work,

a devoted assistant

only slightly over four feet tall

her growth stunted

from childhood diseases

in stature small

but mighty in intellect, will,

and all,

she also star-gazed


the objects above

discovering comets

and nebulae, too.

through persistence

covering distance

with her eye.

Denied an education

because of her gender


she nevertheless excelled

at seeing the night sky

and finding what was up there high

above if we but stop

and look at the light


of truth

streaking a path

through the darkness


Dependent on her brother

no husband, no children

of her own

perhaps she chose

that life alone

when a husband could take


body, belongings, soul

what if he had not understood

the attraction of the stars

their power

over her

over us all?

So–not totally dependent–

in fact, independent,

a feme sole,

earning a small stipend for her work,

a perk

from the English monarchy

but nevertheless significant,

she was a star

though a woman

she traveled far

receiving a gold medal

from astronomical societies

with quiet ease

she’s made an honorary member, too,

there were other honors–

more than a few–

for her stellar work

(So to speak)

she hit her stride

by the time she died

at age 97.


Caroline and William

in a time

when science was bringing the light

of knowledge

chasing away the darkness

of ignorance

new ideas orbiting

creating revolutions

in science

in governments

A thirst for knowledge

testing and reasoning

not full-proof

much unknown

but a start

cooperation between scientists

all over the world.




twinkling orbs

the brightness of enlightened minds

building bridges

of friendship and knowledge

If only nations followed


William was a musician

a composer, too.

Caroline sang professionally

she sang his works in public

drifting notes and motes

patterns of waves

heard and seen

brightening the senses

stirring the soul

in different ways,

sight and sound

stirring us all.


(A memory–

my boyfriend and I

gazing at the night sky

brilliant stars

Kutztown, PA

on a summer night

the Big Dipper

the North Star

the night winds fly

clouds sail

in a celestial gale

an amazing sight

this starlit night

I still feel the wonder.

We were young

our blood coursing


with the heavens



but not star-crossed.


I married him.

After all.)


Past and future


we see the light

of the past

colored anew


by memory.


And now we hear the stars

Their music,

songs unheard

by William

or Caroline.

Could they imagine

we’d listen

for the echoes of

the distant stars

beyond our sight



wandering stars?

Artificial light

obscures the night

making the twinkling

and glimmers

hard to see

but me?

I know they’re there.

After all,

we are made

of the stars,



and wonder.


It seems fitting to write about Caroline Herschel (16 March 1750 – 9 January 1848) since tomorrow, March 8, is International Women’s Day, and March is Women’s History Month in the United States. She was so more than an assistant to her brother William Herschel (15 November 1738- 25 August 1822). They both lived through political and scientific revolutions, and they both made important discoveries.

I was inspired by Carrie Brown’s novel, The Stargazer’s Sister, about Caroline and William Herschel.  Though it omits, changes, and invents several key events and people, it is beautifully written, and seems true to Caroline’s spirit. I was also influenced by several articles, among them these about redshift and radio astronomy.