The way they tell it
All the stars have wings
The sky so full of wings
There is no sky
And just for a moment
The error and the crimped
Paths of light
And you see it
The immense migration
And you hear the rush
Rebecca was an Astronomer working on the Hubble Telescope.
The day conceals its brilliant face,
And dark night covers up the fields,
Black shadows creep upon the hills,
Light’s rays recede from us.
Before us gapes a well of stars –
Stars infinite, well fathomless.
A grain of sand in ocean swells,
A tiny glint in endless ice,
Fine ash caught in a mighty gale,
A feather in a raging fire,
So I am lost in this abyss,
Oppressed by thoughts profound.
The mouths of wise men call to us:
“A multitude of worlds dwell there,
Among them burning suns untold,
And peoples, and the wheel of time:
There, all of nature’s strength
Exists God’s glory to proclaim”
But where, O nature, is your law?
Dawn breaks from out of northern lands!
Is this the home of our sun’s throne?
Or are the icy oceans burning?
Behold, cold fire envelops us!
Behold, now day has entered night.
O thou, whose lively gaze can see
Into the book of law eternal,
For whom the smallest part of things
Reveals the code in all of nature,
Thou comprehendeth planets’ course,
Now tell us what disturbs our souls?
by Mikhail Lomonosov; “The Father of Russian Poetry”
Let There be Light!
The singularity is now complete.
Contained — the building blocks of gas and rock.
The Master Builder rises from His seat
And sets to midnight its celestial clock.
But time’s timepiece will neither tick nor tock
Until the detonation — till the blast.
The Builder nods — the shackles, they unlock;
The force that held the seething mass is cast
Aside — no longer is the bomb held fast,
As now the point of no return is reached.
And so the future will be as the past,
As boundaries are broken, blasted, breached.
Exploding outward does the matter race,
Constructing rock and gas and time and space.
by D.N. O’Brien
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
Considering the expanding universe and ultimate cooling, I pause
remembering photos of star birth amid nebulosity,
nuclear furnaces blossoming.
Telescopes in orbit or secluded in foreign deserts
produce pictures in lights we cannot see
show immensities in glorious un-colours.
In the back garden, I look up, past scudding clouds,
watch coloured pinpricks arrayed over black sky
with occasional satellites twinkling by beneath.
Feeling the breeze, green with trees, redolent with life
thinking of all those things we cannot see
here and all the way up there.
Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond
On the other side of a mirror there’s an inverse world, where the in-
sane go sane; where bones climb out of the earth and recede to the first
slime of love.
And in the evening the sun is just rising.
Lovers cry because they are a day younger, and soon childhood robs
them of their pleasure.
In such a world there is much sadness which, of course, is joy…
By Russell Edson.