Tag Archives: science

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

Orion

Lifting over the horizon comes Orion
stellar giant writ large in the sky
seven winter stars, guiding me on dark nights
heavenly shepard

Rigel, bluebright, ten millions year young
living fast and furious
there at the giants front knee
pushing forward

Great Betelguese smolders
into dying at Orions shoulder
or maybe she’s blown away already
a light six centuries away

Hanging from a three star belt
stars are birthed swaddled in glowing nebulosity
look closely and you see their pinprick natal shine
count them and argue about it

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

The beginning of all understanding

Darkness born from darkness
the beginning of all understanding
            Tao te Ching, John H. McDonald, trans.

 

On an night when all possibilities seem open
when hills and towns and roads
dance and roll in my headlights
I muse on the dance of Higgs Bosons
across seeming emptinesses
matter forming and reforming
in deep space and time
in the most primeval dark

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

It’s all geek to you

Sixty six thousand miles an hour she spins us around her
yet a layer of grey moistness
stops the Sun’s nuclear furnace from warming my bones
as I lie here on the garden deck
wrapped old lady like in fleece blanket
and suburban birdsong

Five hundred thousand miles an hour we all turn around
the black maw at galactic central
that swallows worlds and never enough
lunching on stellar archipelagoes
leading me to think of  Schwartzchild radii
and equations I once manipulated.

Faster than both, you fall through the front door
laughing over the factorisation error you made
in today’s school test.
Functionally innumerate, mathematically gifted,
golden, green eyed geek son of mine.

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For my youngest son, 19 today, still a geek, soon to be an aerospace engineer.

This poem was written when he was still at school.

Time in the dark

Born not in darkness but in a glory of light
glowing plasma heralding
time to come.
Wrapped in dust, avidly gravitating
acquiring debris, gathering and heating
shaping, moulding
to planetary status.

Time builds further complexities
molecular forms, moving, reproducing
that bloom in awareness
become intelligences
who eventually come to know
that stars are
born not in darkness but in a glory of light.

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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

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

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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