Tag 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.”

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The “underground astronauts” (left to right): Becca Peixotto, Alia Gurtov, Elen Feuerriegel, Marina Elliott, K. Lindsay (Eaves) Hunter and Hannah Morris.

Royal Edinburgh Observatory

Royal Edinburgh Observatory

Poor lost instrument, trapped in your tower
Where the dome never opens from year to year.
They no longer use you to search the heavens
Battered and bruised, missing parts, you lurk in the darkness of your cage
If only I could find glass plates, unwrap them in the dark, open the dome and set you free

  Copyright © 2015  Kim Whysall-Hammond

Re-blogged from 2015.

Sweet Blood

Sweet Blood

By the numbers
Do I track my bodily betrayal
Silent sugars gnaw at me
Shorten my life, threaten my sight
My feet and so mobility
By the numbers
Media propaganda
Labels me guilty
A self inflicted pariah
Costing the state drugs, injections
By the numbers
I labour on
Researching the evidence
Counting the carbs
Pulling the weights
Five walks a week
Of thirty minutes each
Defying the numbers
My chosen path
And the numbers drop
My body may falter
But I shall not

 Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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

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

Boundary

Here is a poem by Louis Faber that I would like to share with you. You can find it (and many other good poems, including some great science ones) at https://anoldwriter.com/

 

Boundary

What is on the other side
of this wall that is just
too tall to peer over?
No one seems to know,
though many have surmised
it is a completely different world
looking little or nothing
like the one we inhabit.
Last week a young man
picked up a ginkgo leaf
and said “ahah, it is Japan
across that wall,” but we
mostly thought he was crazy.
Once, when the world was flat,
people knew if you sailed
too far you would fall off.
But the brave ones then
always wondered what sort
of world existed on the other side,
was it desert or tropical jungle
and when it was night here
was it day there or did the sun
simply sleep for ten hours?
This morning a young man
leaned a tall latter
against the wall and slowly
and carefully slipped over the top.
We shouted after him, asking
what it was like: did rainbows
look the same, was grass green,
but all we heard was his
retreating footfalls, and
his plaintive voice shouting:
“Eve, are you here?
I have the apple.”

Louis Faber

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

Green in gray

Lava once flowed here to meet the ocean in hissing and steam
Cooled into writhing shapes that tear our feet as we clamber over
Drawn to the bright signs of encroaching life
Orange yellow lichens spattered as if by Pollock
And one clasp of vibrant green in the gray
Washed by tides, holding fast, reaching to the sun
Proclaiming conquest

Copyright © 2016 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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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