Category Archives: SF

Drifts

Nebulaic drift of space glows pregnant with stars
Pulsates with unseen radiation, reflects  light upon broken hulls
Billowing gases thread through holes laced by stellar blasts
Huge gas pillars glow with the light from star birth

Strange shapes eclipse the details of  nebulaic magnificence
Ships riddled by particle winds after a disaster deep in spacetime
Now drift in loose orbits within a mystery, artefacts lost to sentience and story
Deep in the cloud lies a graveyard drifting to gravity’s pale tune

Gas jets burst from infant stars, glow in unseen colours
Shoot forth  ionized subatomic debris
Push against torn metal, shifting orbits, prompting collisions
Against desiccated limbs, simulating life once more

The beings who struggled and died here disassociate and powder to dust
Microbes  drift and seed, await rebirth in planetary clouds
Amino acids alter with the alien input
Nucleotides drift forward to the future

Ghost DNA haunts the spaces between worlds
Drifts onto comet sand meteors
Drops into planetary atmospheres
Visits us tonight as it has done before

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

First published at In Between Hangovers

Some Science Fiction to celebrate that fact that I’m attending the Science Fiction Worldcon this weekend!  🙂

Advertisements

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

ophiuchusplanets_fairbairn_960

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

 

 

Cold

Cold

Foggy days in old Amsterdam
When rooftops hide in the gloom
Hoar frost sparkles tattered bushes
Tram windows mist up

Flying home to unexpected chill
House cold as a tomb
Huddling around an electric heater
Sipping tea, as the gas boiler struggles

Bright morning, glowing sunshine
Garden frosted like a Christmas cake
Hens fluffed up against the chill
We miss the warmth of good friends

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Thank you Edgar, for the photograph…..

15826091_10154311947692449_460991644093149818_n

Drifts

One of my poems has just been published at “In Between Hangovers”………

In Between Hangovers

Nebulaic drift of space glows pregnant with stars
Pulsates with unseen radiation, reflects  light upon broken hulls
Billowing gases thread through holes laced by stellar blasts
Huge gas pillars glow with the light from star birth

Strange shapes eclipse the details of  nebulaic magnificence
Ships riddled by particle winds after a disaster deep in spacetime
Now drift in loose orbits within a mystery, artefacts lost to sentience and story
Deep in the cloud lies a graveyard drifting to gravity’s pale tune

Gas jets burst from infant stars, glow in unseen colours
Shoot forth  ionized subatomic debris
Push against torn metal, shifting orbits, prompting collisions
Against desiccated limbs, simulating life once more

The beings who struggled and died here disassociate and powder to dust
Microbes  drift and seed, await rebirth in planetary clouds
Amino acids alter with the alien input
Nucleotides drift forward to the future

Ghost DNA haunts the spaces…

View original post 50 more words

Heart and soul

Heart and soul

Something seems to have punched holes in the sky
Ringed with burning hydrogen, glowing against the dark
So we can peer through to  blues, brighter stars
A sparkling alternate perhaps
Where life is sweet, death is no robber
All is bathed in glorious light
But look again, these apparent peep-holes
Are no miniatures, they are huge
Light takes hundreds of years to cross them
And millennia to arrive here with this picture
Celestial chrysanthemums colouring the sky
Tempting me to fantasy

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

astronomy-picture-of-the-weekend-8

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap161116.html

Ocean of Storms

Oceanus Procellarum, or the Ocean of Storms is a large area on the Moon. It forms part of the  Man in the Moon that you see at full Moon.  One day the name just kept on rolling around my tongue, until this poem arrived.

 

Ocean of Storms

No storm ever played across your surface
No rain ever fell
Dust lays where water would otherwise
No fish here can dwell
Misnamed lunar ‘ocean’
That two men have bounced around
The child of massive impact
Lava flooded ground

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Science Street

The street where I work

The street where I work has a ring at each end
Spinning the subatomic in electromagnetic tunnels, round and round
Particle accelerators here on the English chalk
One under a small turfed mound, proudly flying the flags of nations
The other squat, resembling an alien mothership resplendent in silver curves
Both cousins of the great ring in Geneva, the largest machine ever built
Luminous fibres of glass traverse a continent
Bringing its discoveries to the hall under my desk
Science glows alive on my street.

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

 

 

 

entropy by Damian Garside

 

I am a scientist by training and I treasure poems about science and using scientific terms. Here is a good one I found that I’d like to share with you:

 

entropy
entro
py

the third law of
thermodynamics says
that it is
in the nature of
ordered
systems

(stop for a
moment to
feel,
really feel
my chaos)

to
break down

 

From  https://drdamiang.wordpress.com/author/drdamiang/

 

 

The lives I have lived

“If I live to be very old, all my memories of the glory days will grow vague and confused, till I won’t be certain any of it really happened. But the books will be there, on my shelves and in my head – the one enduring reality I can be certain of till the day I die.”

Helen Hanff

 

The lives I have lived

 

My sons, I have tried to give you gifts for your lives ahead

Standards to live by, skills to help earn your bread

But the greatest gift I can give

Is the lives I have lived

And the ability to live them too

 

The world of words I have shown you

Filing your young ears with stories each night

Weaving your own world into a fantasy one

Showing how to do things right

The gift of reading and living lives in stories

These are the lives I have lived

And they are my gift to you

 

Even when I am old and frail

I will still have lives to live

Don’t let them tell you my life is worthless

When there is all that stories and dreams can give

I am living a wonderful life in the real world

And I trust that you will as well

But when life is not what you want, remember my gift to you

 

Copyright © 2016  Kim Whysall-Hammond

Songs, poetry and Science Fiction…..

I love a good song, and for me, that means a song with good lyrics. They should be able to stand by themselves, as poetry. Over the years, I have been drawn to songs with (sometimes an inadvertent) science fictional element to them.

If you don’t know it, please go a listen to Leonard Cohen’s “First we take Manhattan”. This captured me on the first hearing. Cohen is of course a poet and in this work the lyrics are effortless, whilst the melody gives a sense of doomed struggle. One of the final lines Well it’s Father’s Day and everybody’s wounded” haunts me, it pops into my head especially since my father died.

Just look at the first verse:

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

My second choice, Tom Robinson’s “You Tattooed me”  is a love song, set, possibly set  in the past, but in my mind the date is 2054. Again the song has a haunting sadness.

Stranded in Antwerp in June of 54
Streets full of refugees and rumours of war
In a queue at the station a stranger arrived
Stopped and he fixed me with wild hazel eyes

Several of Tom’s song appear to be set in an apocalyptic near future. Another example is “The Night Tide”, which is set in a situation that  I increasingly think I may actually get caught up in:

For christsake, Chrissy
Won’t you open the door –
Don’t tell me you’re still sleeping
All hell’s going on in the street outside
All the roads are closed this evening;
Tried to call you but the lines are jammed
Don’t say you’re not ready
After all we planned…

I am a long time Tom Robinson fan —and his songs are often poetic in their use of English. He also writes good sing alongs too, such as “Martin”.  His new album, Only the Now, is superb.

In “London Calling”, The Clash are very probably talking about punk music but look at that chorus….

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

This song was used by Loncon 3, the 2014 World SF convention, for a promo video, full of images of London being destroyed. It should still be on YouTube somewhere.

After writing this short piece, I went to look for an image, and found the Cohen quote shown above. I do believe that each of the other songwriters mentioned here would agree with Leonard, most especially Tom, who I have always described to friends as a political singer-songwriter.