Tag 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.

M1 in winter

M1 in winter  (Watford Gap 1 mile)

 Mist enwrapped trees extinguish the low orange glow of the Sun
Taillights warm the twilight ahead
Headlights shine on traffic cones and road workers  jackets
Jagged shadows in a field reveal a ruined brick barn
Aerofoils loom above, rotating for electricity
We return from lunch with a son at University
Time, long and relaxed, spent talking junk
Films, comics, games, YouTube
Reconnecting the family

Each capsule of metal alongside, before and behind
Contains a story
Adulterous trysts? Mismanaged meeting? Half Term visit to the Zoo?
All these journeys and ours are twenty first century bubbles
Made manifest in the manic twentieth
Our posterity is as yet uncertain
The fields and their shadows will outlive us all
Animals will graze, trees loom in the dark
And Suns set, wetly

Copyright © 2017  Kim Whysall-Hammond

Open Sky

Infall

Protons

Particles

Masses

Bathed

Photons

Neutrinos

Light is lifegiver and deathbringer
The open sky pretends to shield
But cannot fully

The vagaries of the universe
Plague our houses, peck out our DNA

Ozone and magnetosphere have allowed us to live
To evolve and think
Think ourselves safe

Knowledge is perhaps power
But it reveals destiny

Infalling rock
Or the next local supernova
And we are gone

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Loom weight

A loom weight lost these many millennia
Sits proud on heavy soil
Held in my hand, it speaks of loving toil
The spinning of fabric
To clothe a family
And a connection is made
She spoke ancient Greek
A colonist deep in Sicily’s heartland
I stroke the fingerprint left in once moist clay
And say Hello

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

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