Category Archives: Technology

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Pt Off. John Gillespie Magee, Jr, RCAF, 1941

 

John Magee was a Canadian Spitfire pilot in England in World War 2. He died in 1941. This poem is just wonderful and has been quoted again and again —I remember Ronald Reagan quoting it after the Challenger crash.

I wish I could write like this.

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Monday Watercolour: Azores sailing boat

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Re-starting my Monday watercolours…….

This is a traditional Azorean whaling boat, which I saw sailing in a regatta at Horta Sea Week in 2015.

 

 

 

Crystals of intent

Crystals of intent

Full, filling my hand
Carved to mould into a palm
This one is left handed,  another fits the right
Killer edges, fatal intent
A hand axe from a million years ago haunts my eyes

Small symmetrical perfect arrowhead
To be thrust by a bow through a torso
Rests on my fingertips
Tiny chips creating the edges
Beauty and death

Both objects of beauty
Stones selected for a purpose
Worked on for many hours
Made to please in many ways
Crystals of intent

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

Stone Circle

Stone Circle

Consider the stone circle
Do the stones collect impressions?
Perhaps imprinted like old photographs
Perhaps locked in their silicon crystals
Perhaps they link into the earth beneath
Using ants and their nest structures
To record the thoughts of those who visit

Maybe  it’s my sense of place that deludes me
Makes me feel that the stones are listening
My need to bring some mystery to this circle
When it is already full of real mystery and strangeness
Why and how being the biggest
But I want to hear the builders, eavesdrop on long ago visitors
And so stretch fingertips to the stone to download the recording

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

aveburycropped

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

 

 

 

 

Flint

Flint

Clinking flint on flint
They sat, cross legged
Sculpting the desired form
From the larger rock
Before going on the hunt.
Children clambered in cramped tunnels
Hewing the flints from the solid chalk
In the lonely dark
To allow these few to craft killing tools
And to eat.

 

Clicking screen to screen
We sit, hunched
Sifting the information stream
Shaping the data
To draw our salaries.
Children spend their lives in cramped factories
Working on small assemblies
In the lonely light
To allow us few to play
In the western world

 

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

An insecure heart? Broken controls

I love poems that use scientific or science fictional imagery. And I’ve shared some with you, whether by other poets (The Migration of Darkness, Wrecks) or by me (Nebula, Broken Cable, Sun Queen, Royal Edinburgh Observatory).

 Well here’s one that uses imagery from my profession – IT and Data Networking. And it’s a fantastic love poem!

Broken Controls

existing firewall rules
are ineffective to prevent
intrusion

distributed denial-of-service attack
is launched,
flooding the heart –
causing malfunction,
disconnecting communication channel
with the brain

the heart left open,
love virus gets to work
spreading new sensations
which take deep roots,
taking over controls
in a matter of minutes

by the time
incident report is lodged
and root cause analysis
completed,
the heart’s assets
have been sieged, and the brain
no longer
rules

In computing, a firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and ongoing network traffic based on pre-detemined access security rules.
Distributed denial-of-service attack is an attempt to make a machine unavailable to its intended users, e.g. by “flooding” the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, eventually causing the system to crash. 

Poem by Anna at https://whatthewomanwrote.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/broken-controls/

Picture by By William Viker – My Opera devblog, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1351332