Category Archives: Science

The Little Folk

Folk tales of little people abound
Retreating to the deep Earth
Now and then to emerge and engage
Ensnare or enslave
With trickery or with passion

Peripatetic you may have been
Leaving small trace of your lives
But deep in an African cave
We have found you
Naledi, little stars

We term the women who reclaimed you to the light
Underground astronauts
Yet you carried your beloved dead here
Through narrow clefts, over parlous depths
To lay them tenderly down to rest

As we stare into our deep past
And find you, Homo Naledi
Those of us who wonder
Those of us who marvel
Are ensnared and enamoured

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The discovery of fossils of a new human species  (Homo Naledi) is, in itself, a fascinating story. But why they are so ‘cool’ is very well explained by our fellow blogger on Fossil History at https://fossilhistory.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/homo-naledi-why-these-fossils-are-so-friggen-cool/

 National Geographic describes them as “A fully modern hand sported wackily curved fingers, fit for a creature climbing trees. The shoulders were apish too, and the widely flaring blades of the pelvis were as primitive as Lucy’s—but the bottom of the same pelvis looked like a modern human’s. The leg bones started out shaped like an australopithecine’s but gathered modernity as they descended toward the ground. The feet were virtually indistinguishable from our own.”

14_homo_naledi_cr_john hawks

Painting: Hey Mr Spaceman

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An Apollo astronut floating high….

….plus a bonus poem, this time about someone in a red suit:

Resplendent in red

She came to see me
Resplendent in red
Glittering with dust
Her elegant bone structure evident more than ever
Desiccated and dead
Spacesuit blown
Floating past the view screen
When I  know we retrieved her from orbit yesterday

 

First published in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Associations print journal Star*Line 40.4

 

Both Painting and poem Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Friday Poem: Earthfast

Architects plant their imagination, weld their poems on rock,
Clamp them to the skidding rim of the world and anchor them down to its core;
Leave more than the painter’s or poet’s snail-bright trail on a friable leaf;
Can build their chrysalis round them – stand in their sculpture’s belly.

They see through stone, they cage and partition air, they cross-rig space
With footholds, planks for a dance; yet their maze, their flying trapeze
Is pinned to the centre. They write their euclidean music standing
With a hand on a cornice of cloud, themselves set fast, earth-square.

 

 

Poetry describing a technical profession—bliss!

The Shape of Rain

I am a rain drop.
Imagine raindrops
you see tears
but clouds do not cry.
Over England they excrete
ice crystals that melt
drop and tumble
balling, falling.
Surface tension
marries colliding drops
yet divorce is common.
Plummeting, flattening
rain discs hit the London pavement
lose their identity
in puddles and pools.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Published at Fourth and Sycamore in July 2018.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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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