Blue Marble, NaPoWriMo, Day 25

Beguiling planet–

our existence here so brief,

circling through seasons

we love, destroy, yet wish for

our cerulean orb, home

Photo originally taken by Apollo 17 crew, Wikipedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another busy day. Off prompt for NaPoWriMo. I’ve written a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for enchant and shape, and for Frank’s Haikai Challenge using the prompt Earth.

 

The Pleiades: Tanka

This tanka is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Colleen asked us to use synonyms for myth and write

 

In the before time

seven sisters soared skyward

sailing the night sea

in my dreams, I sail with them,

creating my own stories

 

2048px-Pleiades_large

By NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, Palomar Observatory, “The Pleiades,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

Exploring Other Roads

Monday Morning Musings:

“We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics. Nor all logic. But is somewhat beauty & poetry.

–Astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889

“In the middle of the journey of our life

I found myself astray in a dark wood

where the straight road had been lost sight of.”

–Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto I

 

PIA21891_SaturnRings

“This image of Saturn’s rings was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Sept. 13, 2017. It is among the last images Cassini sent back to Earth.”

 

This wild, verdant world

home, a pale blue dot

it travels,

we travel,

through time and space

never a straight road

explorers, we send you out

on a thirty-year mission

(here, bombs and missiles)

there, you meet your fiery death.

Did you have last thoughts, I wonder,

as you plunged

compelled by forces beyond your control

mission completed

no more floating tin can

our eyes and ears

seeing what we cannot see

 

what if you could speak your mind–

would you share our wonder, or

cry at the beauty of the rings of ice?

The eye of the beholder,

the hard problem and reality,

what do we actually perceive

(with our limited senses)

And yet

And yet

And yet–

we have music, art, poetry

the imagination to see beyond

to wonder if there are ghosts flitting around us

and what it is we cannot see

 

We, who are constantly seeking

asking who we are

and what is out there

(the truth?)

yet so limited by greed, ignorance, fear.

the artificial borders of nations

when the world dies,

will it matter that we are American, Russian, or Thai?

or that we believe in one god, many, or none?

that our skin is olive-tinged, milky-white, or the color of café au lait?

We follow straight roads to disaster

when perhaps we should try a different path—

a scenic route

create a new map

wonder

We eat pita and hummus

Vietnamese takeout

homemade pizza

multicultural dining

in a xenophobic world

admire the science and math—

dough that rises—a chemical reaction—

but the first time someone made bread—imagination!

Could a space alien creature appreciate the perfection–

melted cheese, tomatoes, basil, and crisp crust?

We drink wine,

admire the color, taste smell

created by another chemical reaction,

We watch science fiction

and imagine what could be,

perhaps better, perhaps not,

(oh, but we could use those Star Trek captains)

perhaps there are other timelines and dimensions,

worlds we cannot see,

Cassini has traveled—not a straight road—

to see rings and moons

a wonder of science and determination

But I see the beauty of those rings,

imagine how they might sing

 

I read and write

about the terrible things people do to one another

dominating bodies, looking for control

we watch a documentary about Vietnam

fights over territory

nations looking to control

the falling of dominos

in senseless violence

bombs, death, and destruction

time going backwards in film

filled in by imagination,

fast forward

and where does the road lead?

look at the science

look at the logic

look at the road

and check for a course correction–

But

look for the poetry and art

the beauty in the stars

listen for the humming of the moon

 

IMG_6565

 

Unsettled

Monday Morning Musings:

 

I am unsettled, unmoored

between light and shadow

FullSizeRender 155

 

but the shadows grow

the winds blow

I ponder as the pressure drops

watch the sky’s darkling mood

watch it brood

upon the future,

and darken more

(blacker than before)

it weeps,

perhaps remembering light

the song of birds

the hum of bees

thundering its sorrow,

growling like an angry drunk,

sunk in sorrow and pain

throwing punches in the rain

lightning flashes

charged particles, clashes

of hot air

in sound and fury

power displayed

but going nowhere

 

Far away,

on another world

a storm of swirling crimson, unfurls

sending out a song

in crashing waves

volatile and unpredictable

dazzling

ancient

larger than our earth

a spot forever turning

churning

over a world of gas

without firm ground

with nothing to stand upon

unsettled

pia21773

NASA: This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

 

But here I stand

feet firmly planted

(head in the clouds)

as I look up at the sky

catching a melody in the wind

storms may rage

night may fall

on firm ground,

I wait for the light

The sun rises, my spirits do, too,

I hear the mockingbird sing in a sky of blue.

 

We go out to hear about wine

to learn from a man passionate about the science

and his craft

educated in universities in California and France

but there is art, skill, perhaps a bit of magic involved,

a master craftsman, a master craft

IMG_6332

In the barrel room with Larry Sharrott of Sharrott Winery.

 

We taste wine from barrels

(settling)

sitting there for ten months or a bit more

not ready yet to go to tanks,

raised above the floor

kept cool by solar power

(to keep the wine from going bad and sour)

I think of the skill and craft of making barrels,

here, some are made from American oak

some from French or Hungarian oak

IMG_6334

I learn the wine in American oak tastes different from that in the European

I like the symmetry of fruit of the vine kept in barrels from trees

my mind goes to the economy of colonial America

built with the help of barrels

though not of wine

barrel makers—coopers—found in every town

large barrels, hogsheads, terms of measurement

but we talk of wine here,

admire its color

swirl it to let in air,

smell it and taste it,

the barrel wine drier, more astringent,

the bottled wine, rounder and fuller,

I’m fascinated–

the knowledge, the skill, the passion

wonder how people first picked grapes

and learned to make wine

centuries ago

refining the process over time

though the science remains the same.

 

We drink Chambourcin

a glass at the winery, overlooking acres of grapes,

and birds in flight,

IMG_6335

 

then more at our daughter’s house

we missed the Bastille Day celebration this year

but we have French-named wine

French cheese, a baguette

and chocolate cake

(yes, let us eat cake).

IMG_6326

It is a beautiful evening

their dog plays

their cat watches

IMG_6342

the shadows grow

but the summer light lingers

as do we

the storms but a memory in the blue sky

and I’m feeling moored, settled

my family and love,

the port in stormy and fair weather,

I hear the songs of the universe surround me.

 

We visited Sharrott Winery in Hammonton, NJ.

 

 

 

 

 

Juno

pia20704

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.