The image, taken by our faithful solar sentinel, SDO,

Made even the most ignorant-about-the-universe gasp:

A great ragged arch of fire leaping off the surface of the Sun;

A jagged splash of cherry-red rising from

Sol’s perfectly curved limb. Outrageously violent,

Supremely savage, sensuously silent.


Staring at it on my screen, my mind reeling

From the brutal beauty of the blast,

I couldn’t help but wonder if Science had got it wrong.

Surely that couldn’t be natural; surely

That eruption was more than just the result

Of a perfect storm of magnetism and currents?

No… come on…  please

There had to be more to it than that.


I wouldn’t be at all amazed if, one far-future day,

Astronomers falling through the Sun in some

Fantastic, force-field shielded ship

Discover our star had been impregnated by

A wandering alien queen, back at the solar system’s

Dusty dawn; back when our infant Sun was just warm

Enough to provide the perfect nest for its crystal-shelled eggs,

Which, once laid, stayed clustered around its core for four

Billion years, undetected, unseen just the occasional beam

Of neutrinos betraying their radiation-soaked dreams…


And now… each petal pink prominence a contraction;

Each coronal mass ejection a solar chest-burster,

Setting the Sun shaking and shuddering, convulsing like John Hurt

On the Nostromo’s kitchen table; screaming

As ripples of ruby red spread across its face

Before its plasma blood gushes out into the black,

The newborn soaring free, invisible against

The rippling orange waves, witnessed by millions an AU away…


Ridiculous, I know… But looking closely

At this SDO movie I’m sure I can see

Something silhouetted against the flames,

Streaking away –

Ahhhhhhh… And remember how we all assumed

Comet Lovejoy had survived its Christmas kamikaze dive

Through the corona when we saw

That strange twizzly thing corkscrewing away from the Sun?


Just saying…


© Stuart Atkinson 2012

(Illustrated version below, click to enlarge)

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