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7 12 2008

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MUSEUM OF THE MOON

8 09 2016

20160827_224847

 

In silence, mouth open in surprise,
I stood beneath the shining Moon.
“It’s only a balloon,” sighed a voice inside
My head, and I knew that, I did,
But my eyes refused to believe it,
Whispering “No, it’s the Moon,
Right there, above you”.

I had to see more.
Clomping up the creaking steps to the balcony
I could see it shining through the door,
The silhouettes of other sightseers
Cut out of it, black ink stains on its glowing face.
I had expected a new Space Race,
A rush to the front, but there was no crush,
Just an awed hush, everyone there
Unable to do anything but stare and stare and stare…
And there – the crescent of Eddington crater.

Downstairs in the darkened church once more
I walked round and and around it, slack-jawed,
Ignoring the hundreds of others gathered there;
Stalking my favourite craters like a hunter,
Smiling when I found them exactly where
They always are in my eyepiece.
There was Tycho – its bright rays
Spraying away from it like splashes of paint;
Schrodinger, with its Donnie Darko rabbit ears,
A fearful hole near the icy southern pole;
Copernicus, mighty Monarch of the Moon,
A cosmic bullet’s entry wound at the end
Of the great Appennine Mountain range…
All perfectly in place –

– and there, right above me,
The most lovely lunar scar of all:
The brutal beauty of Mare Orientale,
A bulls-eye of ancient crags and peaks
Never seen in full from Earth, a sight reserved
For beeping space-probes, Apollo astronauts
And my dreams –

“Where did they land?” an old man asked
From beside me, head tilted back
Like mine. Which ones? I almost replied
But knew exactly who he meant.
Six pairs of boots had stepped carefully down
Ladders to stand on Luna’s plains,
Crump-crumping across the dust,
But only one craft’s name is now remembered:
Eagle, the First, immortalised
By Armstrong’s classic line.
“On the other side,” I sighed,
“Round here,” steering him around a dozen wide-eyed
Children until we both stood beneath Crisium’s
Round, dark birthmark.
“Right… there…” I said, surfing
My laser pointer’s cherry red star
Across the scarred landscape to Tranquility Base.
His face broke into a smile. “Thank you”,
He whispered, “Thank you..” and walked away,
Leaving me alone beneath the Moon.

Wishing it could stay.

(c) Stuart Atkinson 2016





Prox b

30 08 2016

 

Proxima Centauri… Sol’s closest star…

Too faint by far for the naked eye to see
Under even the clearest, Moon-free Chilean sky,
And in a telescope’s eyepiece never more than a mere
Red speck, a spark spat out of a fire.

I can’t even see you from this far north; Earth
Gets in the way. I’d need to pull up my horizon
Like a rug to scan the sky for you,
Searching for a ruddy pollen grain
Halfway between Mars and the stars of the Southern Cross.
But I know you’re there.

For centuries we thought you barren –
A lonely, shrunken sun; a tiny sequin sewn
In the black velvet cloak of the southern sky.
But now we know the treasure you were hiding
All along: circling you, like a moth whirling
‘Round a flame is a world
Destined for fame since its birth.

Tho exo-planet hunters proclaim you
‘Earthlike’ you are not Terra’s twin –
At least, nothing like the Earth as people think of it:
A perfect Christmas tree bauble, glazed blue and white,
Shining in the endless black night of space,
With snow-capped mountains, oceans rolling up
Golden sandy beaches with a hiss, kissing the
Sapphire sky at the horizon.
No. Your discoverers just mean “Roughly the same size
As Earth” when they call you that,
Knowing you could be a Harvey Dent world,
Half your face coated in ice, the other
Covered in syruppy flows of glowing lava.
But “Earth-like” means “like Narnia” to those
Who do not know how scientists’ brains work
So now millions believe we have found “Earth 2”,
A New world just a handful of light years away!
Perfectly placed for a weekend getaway!

“Proxima b” they christened you,
Unimaginatively – but that cold name, useless for such
An important place will be replaced, I’m sure,
With something far more suitable;
More fitting for our first star probe’s target,
Screaming by at 1/10 light speed…

One impossibly faraway day,
The first true ‘star sailors’ will wake
From dreamless sleep to weigh anchor
Off Proxima b. Sweeping in from the Great Dark,
Their ship’s cobweb-fine solar sails flapping
And cracking in the star’s gusting wind
Before finally sliding into orbit
Around the fabled ‘Rock at Prox’.
And then, lips scalded by centuries-old coffee,
Their pale faces will press anxiously
Against snowflake-crusted glass,
Desperate to see ‘b’ with their own eyes
And smiling they’ll whisper
“We made it…’

(c) Stuart Atkinson 2016





Farewell Philae – For Now…

18 08 2016

farewell philae - for now pic

Original artwork created by Christine Rueter (@Tychogirl on Twitter) – produced as a collaborative project with me for this poem. You can see more of her brilliant work on her blog: https://tychogirl.wordpress.com)

FAREWELL PHILAE – FOR NOW

Beneath sheets of sparkling frost,
Lost Philae sleeps now, and will doze
Until, one day, who knows when,
Men and women from Earth,
Their boots crusted with clods of soot-black comet
Dust and snow will crump slowly across
67P’s frozen plains and see it –
A glint of gold in a shadow,
High up on acrumbling cliff’s side,
Shining like a wolf’s eye.
And then the Fellowship of Philae
Will hike up Seth’s serrated cliffs
Until, high above Hapi’s sands
They’ll reach out with shaking hands
And drag it from its icy tomb
Into the light, setting it upright again,
Brushing years of ice and dust
From its face before taking it
To its final resting place – a glass case
At ESOC, spotlights warming it,
Thawing a century of frostbite…

But for now, Philae sleeps,
Without Rosetta’s alarm clock beep-beep-beep
Interrupting its dreams
Of what might have been,
If only those hapless harpoons had fired…
If only it hadn’t bounced like a rubber ball…
If only it hadn’t fallen into that dark place,
Landing, legs splayed,
In a lonely hole hidden from the Sun’s precious rays…

(c) Stuart Atkinson 2016





TRUTH

24 05 2016

 

 

TRUTH

Come with me… and you’ll be…
In a world of pure fabrication…

Post all the Picard face-palm memes you like – I don’t care.
I just feel sorry for you sad Sheeple,
Stumbling around, blissfully unaware of The Truth
When it’s all right there, on YouTube!

You have no idea what’s really going on, do you?
You don’t know we live in a Matrix of lies!!!
Those feathered lines criss-crossing the sky?
Toxins sprayed from camouflaged planes!
Not contrails, no – poisonous chemtrails,
Piss hissing from a Government skunk’s ass.
I’ve seen photos (on a forum) of huge silver tanks
Crammed inside the aircraft so I know;
I feel evil powder pattering onto my face
As I pace nervously around town,
See it rise from my unwashed hair in a cloud
When I take off my tin foil hat and shake my head
Before crawling into my single bed.

Come with me one day to watch dawn break.
Bring your camera and I’ll show you
How to capture the elusive Second Sun,
You know, the one only a few people in the world have ever seen?
Of course, Sheeple, brains washed by “science”
Tell us it’s “just a lens flare”,
“Light bouncing around your Canon’s insides”
But we know that’s a lie – Earth’s Sun is clearly not the only one!
A second star burns in the solar system’s heart;
Incredibly, invisible to all the rovers rolling around Mars
And probes silently circling Saturn and the Moon,
Yet visible through my bedroom window if I point my iPhone
At the sky before sunset or after sunrise…

And don’t get me started on Mars!
Look closely and you’ll see anomalies, anomalies!
Barsoom’s covered in anomalies!
Tortured, zoomed-in JPGs clearly show
The Mars NASA doesn’t want you to know:
Tiny yetis loping between the stones;
Dinosaur skulls sitting out on the sand;
Pistols and spears clutched in fossilised hands – oh my,
They’re all there beneath that salmon pink sky!
I’ve seen photos of martian crabs hiding in cracks;
Squashed beetles pressed flat in Opportunity’s tracks;
Glass tunnels snaking along valley floors
With huge Shai Hulud worms quivering inside.
And, of course, all of us (taps nose) In The Know knew all along
That Mars’ sky is really blue, not that dusky orange hue
Never A Straight Answer NASA keeps telling you…

Why can’t you see these truths yourselves?
It’s all online! Just Google it! Do your research, like I
Did, it’ll take you five minutes or less, I swear.
Just dig and you’ll find countless wonders buried there!

Roll up, roll up, see petrified babies crying as evil doctors, eyes shining,
Faces contorted in Nazi scientist sneers,
Spear their pudgy arms with foot-long syringes full of
“Vaccines” to turn their brains to mush
And ruin their little lives;
See body bags piled high in secret FEMA camps,
Ready for when Obama rubber stamps his long-planned Muslim cull
Of every pistol-packing patriot who ever dared
To speak out against him and his Liberal lies;
See the Classified Files proving a flying
Saucer crash-landed at Roswell, revealing how, even now, its survivors
Are working hand-in-tentacle with the Illuminati
To enslave us all.
Watch the Twin Towers fall in tragedy-porn slow-mo, on Vimeo,
Over and over and over again;
Satan’s face grinning insanely through the smoke
As Saudi missiles, hidden beneath the “hijacked” (HA!)
Planes’ wings slam into them,
Melting steel beams more efficiently
Than all those tons of aircraft fuel could ever do –

( Don’t shake your head, don’t tell me it’s not true;
I’ve seen it on YouTube, I told you! )

Yes, of course I trust ‘Revelation666’ – sitting
In his mom’s spare room, X-Files posters hanging off the walls
And his favourite “Ancient Aliens” DVD playing on repeat –
More than NASA or the Government, or ‘scientists’.
Why would he lie (or she? Who knows?) lie to me?
Not just to get hits on their ad-covered website, surely?
Not for the sick thrill of spreading fears and lies?

And as for Nibiru… oh, my poor abused Nibiru,
Why won’t they believe in you?
Why can’t they see how easy it would be
For a planet, Saturn’s size, to hide Out There
Without reflecting Sol’s golden glare,
Without being seen and photographed by every curious
Space-probe’s eagle eyes as it slides silently in
From the void like V’Ger,
Its giant Nephilim crew’s hungry gaze fixed on Earth
Where Annanuki meddling gave birth
To Mankind millennia before…

And it baffles me how lovers still swoon
Beneath the dazzling silvery Moon believing
Stars and Stripes ever flew there,
Left behind by wide-eyed explorers
In puffed-up snow white suits,
When the Truth is there, written in CAPS LOCK on a million blogs.
Look closely, Sheeple! No stars are shining in the jet black sky!
And the shadows are clearly being cast by Kubrick’s studio lights,
Not the Sun! And someone explain to me, seriously,
How Armstrong could survive that impossible two day flight
Through the Van Allen Belts without being microwaved?

( What’s that? “Learn some science!” you say?
“All those things can be explained!”
Yeah, right… I’d trust my friends in their Anonymous masks
More than bullshitting bragging boffins any day!)

Sometimes I find it hard to sleep, knowing all these secrets.
In my dreams I hear Diana screaming
As her car is forced off that Paris road,
Assassinated by Secret Service ghosts;
I see Marilyn Monroe’s long legs kicking
As pills are forced down her lovely throat.
But why can’t they all see what I see? Why are they so blind?
The Evidence is there, it’s easy to find.
There’s a mine of mind-blowing information
The size of Moria online, just waiting to explore.

Don’t they want to know the Earth is flat?
How can they live not knowing that?
(Some say it’s hollow though – the fools!
It can’t be flat AND hollow too!
Do some research! You’ll find the Truth!)

…and as for global warming..! I thought JK Rowling
Wrote fantasy, but Gore’s grim fairy tales
Of CFCs and Earth sweltering in a man-made heatwave
Should win a Nebula award.
If the world is burning up then how come
I need a jumper on in June?
How can hailstones fall from the sky in July
If we’re all about to die?

I’ll admit it’s lonely, doing what I do,
But it will be worth it in the end.
One day these secrets will be revealed
And then – – – !
But for now I’ll just get by, subscribing
To every fruit loop YouTube channel I can find,
Trolling the comments on NASA’s Facebook posts,
Ending every sneering smart arse quote with “LOL”
As proof that I know more than them…

© Stuart Atkinson 2016





KEPLER: LEGACY

17 05 2016

 

When I was at school – so far from being cool
Voyager 2 could never reach me –
“Space” was a much simpler place.
The Sun was just one of billions of suns
In a catherine wheel of stars,
And there was just one solar system: ours.
Earth, eight other whirling worlds,
A scattering of dirty iceberg comets
And a loose belt of asteroid rubbble
Tumbling between Jupiter and Mars.

But those books I read, hiding in the library,
Concealed behind wine red curtains
When everyone else was running
Around outside were wrong.

So wrong.

Now I look up at the sky on a crisp Spring night
And could almost cry,
Knowing most of those twinkling lights
Have planets of their own.
Bloated “Hot Jupiters” buzzing like bumblebees
Around their suns; butterfly blue “Super Neptune”
Bowling balls rolling endlessly through the dark.
If I hold up a shaking hand
How many Klendathus do I hide from view
Behind each finger?
How many Perns lurk behind my outstretched palm?
How many Coruscants, Hoths and Bespins
Spin around those celestial sequins?
How many ochre-duned Tatooines are bathed,
Right now, in a double sunset’s golden glow?

No. The books I read in those stolen
Childhood moments were wrong.
The sky is not a desert – it’s a ball pool of worlds,
Large and small, colourful as candy.
Perhaps one day we’ll see the Milky Way
As a city, a bustling Bladerunner metropolis,
And know each sparkling star is a streetlight,
Living worlds fluttering around it like moths…

(c) Stuart Atkinson 2016





Winds

21 03 2016

winds jpg





LIGO

16 02 2016

LIGO_2Image (c) Christine Rueter     tychogirl.wordpress.com

LIGO

It didn’t look like much – just a jiggle of lines on the screen,
Like the ECG chart of the heartbeat of a dying man
Dragging every precious breath from the air,
Or the marks scratched by a pen onto a paper scroll
As a tremor rolled along the San Andreas Fault.
But it was History, there for all to see, an image
As glorious as Galileo’s asterix-etched sketch of Jupiter’s
Mischevious moons, or Rosse’s portrait of the great
Whirlpool drawn at the Leviathan’s eye;
A record of a whisper that had travelled for more than a billion years,
So soft, so faint that the slow turn of a page
In a library’s quietest corner would sound as loud
As a hurricane’s howling wind to the instruments’ ears,
And the lifting of a single strand of a sleeping new-born’s hair
By a passing summer breeze would crack like a Balrog’s whip.
Hard to believe, looking at that jagged mountain range trace
That we were staring the deepest of deep physics in the face,
Looking back in time to when a pair of black holes danced,
Swirling dervishes, dense as 60 Suns,
Their shirts and skirts of Hawking radiation twirling as they whirled
Around each other in a giddy reel, then
Hurtled together at half the speed of Light –

What a sight that must have been,
But hominid eyes would not look to the sky for an eternity more,
And when it finally cocked an ear in their direction
LIGO could hear only echoes of their ancient laughter,
Waves tumbling in from the depths of space and time,
Lapping at our feet, rippling round, through and past the Earth
Like the melodies of distant whale-song.

© Stuart Atkinson 2016

This poem is one half of a special, two-part work produced by myself and American artist and poet
Christine Rueter, who shares my fascination with, and love of astronomy and science. The painting you see at the top of the page was created specially to illustrate this poem. You can see more of Christine’s beautiful work, and read some of her poetry, on her blog: tychogirl.wordpress.com