Category Archives: Science

We are Stardust

Orbital telescopes send home images
nebulae, glowing with colour
last remnants of fat, dying, exploded stars
lingering across the night sky
lighted by millennia old catastrophe

They are where the magic happens
atoms forged in burnt out stars
a deathbed bequest that has made us all

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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Space Within

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

Rocks

Unimaginably ancient, preserving moments in time;
billion year old pebbles from unknown floods
bones fallen into an ancient abyss
ten thousand year old footprints along an English estuary.
Sitting on a rock, you touch time.

Rocks move. They melt and set, erode to dust
and then the dust settles
forms new rock over time almost unimaginable.
This undulating plain formed at great depths
was thrust up to mountainous heights
now lies placid for your walking comfort.

Go find a rock
and travel in time and space.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

P1180416

Brief bloom

We are a brief bloom
On the fragile skin
Of a molten body
Encircling a massive furnace

We are a blossoming of sentience
With encrusted technologies
Craving wonder, hoping for company
Seeking knowledge and excitement

We truly are stardust
Our bodies built from atoms
Forged in successive stellar explosions
We crave the glories of the Universe

We are Human

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Re-blogged from last year

ophiuchusplanets_fairbairn_960

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160510.html

A poem by Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman was not only a brilliant physicist but one of the 20th Century’s great thinkers. He also loved playing pranks and thumbing his nose at authority. And, he wrote poetry!

Collecting Reality

There are the rushing waves
mountains of molecules
each stupidly minding its own business
trillions apart
yet forming white surf in unison

Ages on ages
before any eyes could see
year after year
thunderously pounding the shore as now.
For whom, for what?
On a dead planet
with no life to entertain.

Never at rest
tortured by energy
wasted prodigiously by the Sun
poured into space.
A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea
all molecules repeat
the patterns of one another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves
and a new dance starts.
Growing in size and complexity
living things
masses of atoms
DNA, protein
dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle
onto dry land
here it is
standing:
atoms with consciousness;
matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea,
wonders at wondering: I
a universe of atoms
an atom in…

View original post 19 more words

Physics Lecture

Equations straggle across the blackboards
dance and shimmer
spill understanding and enlightenment
making the strange world of quantum
less of a confusement
less of a set of contradictory statements.
Now you see it now you don’t.
Was Schrödinger’s cat truly there/not there?
The equations say Yes
as they are folded into Hilbert space
and all becomes obvious.
Even to our post party undergraduate brains.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

……remembering back to University………

Solar Flares

I do like poems with an Astronomical bent, and here’s a wonderful one from Paul F. Lenzi:

Poesy plus Polemics

SolorFlare “Solar Flare” by Dan Oliver

particle storms

shriek at inhuman

inaudible frequency

penetrate matter

lase holes through

the bones of minds

living and dead

mark acutely

the genomes of

all cosmic creatures

yet to be born

with the warning

that even the sun

is disposed to

explosions of rage

From my books Pieces of Wine and Legacies (vol.2)

View original post

Bones

Slender bones, delicately traced
staring grinning skulls.
No skin, no muscle,
no eyes, no heart or other parts.
Yet they tell a knowing eye many tales
of wounds healed, muscle strengths,
diseases and battles fought.
Indications of the life lived
and sometimes the death faced.

 

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Visitor

Visitor from afar,
tracked by orbital telescopes
calculated trajectory indicating
an extra solar origin.
She is dropping past and zooming out.

Rock studded ice lump
possibly formed without a mother sun
in the darknesses between stars.
Interplanetary orphan,
we have only just spotted you.
Where are the others?

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

In honour of object A/2017 U1 , now visiting our solar system from who knows where.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A/2017_U1

 

Ridgeway

Tombs, forts and settlements
String the Ridgeway
As beads on a necklace
Testifying to ancient use
Above the spring line and refreshment
On a hot Summers day
The white chalk is hard walking
Reflecting sunlight back onto the traveller
When wet, millennia of churning feet and wheels
Have crafted a deep sucking cloying mudclay
Is it true that you continue on and under the sea?
A road so old that it predates the English Channel
Is humbling

Walking from the great stones of Avebury
Up through fields to the ridgeline
Following in the steps of so many
Stumbling in snow through ramparts
Thrown up three thousand years ago
Passing where the Smith of the Norse gods
Will shoe tethered horses
Looking down on the rolling plain
Or trudging deep within the occasional copse
Fires my imagination
Brings to mind stories, legends
Archaeological finds and study

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond