Dig

God Speed the Plough by Henry Gawthorne

Dig

Turning the soil is Autumn work,
Ploughing, forking, hoeing the loam,
Breaking it up before it freezes,
Driving the moles from their home.
Airing the worms out, harvesting stones,
And mining the black to bury the brown,
Dredging the roots up, combing the waves in,
Leaving the fields quite upside-down.

Sleep

detail from Sleeping Girl by an unknown 1600s artist working in Rome

Sleep

I’ve heard there’s folk who sleep but never dream –
That must seem a waste of a night,
When I think how my mind is a-gleam with delight.
But point of fact, they do alright,
Just shutting down for hours on end
Affording them time to mend,
While not distracted by the random streams
That dreamers love to wend.

Coral

Coral by Elena Kraft

Coral

Coral, that was her name –
Not Carol or Cora, but Coral del Mar
Dressed in yellowy-pink, she came,
As if from an attic trunk or bizarre.
Prickly brittle, broken free,
Yet often shrinking into her shell –
She loved to watch  the shallow sea
As if in want of a diving bell.

Traps

DSC_5185 by Iwtt93

Traps

The books call this an igneous province,
As if a country of lava –
They also call these rocks an intrusion,
So more of an empire, rather.
But due to the terraces up the plateau,
They mostly call them traps –
As if they’re prisoners to their nature,
Till their lands collapse.
Rocks push up from underneath
By stealth or by explosion,
To reinforce the battle
With the forces of erosion.
The books call these the flood basalts
That roll across the shield
Unstoppable, a stony horde
That sweep the battlefield.

Rocket – To Boldly & Beyond

JCSAT-16 Launch by Celestial Images

Rocket – To Boldly & Beyond

Strap in, guys, and hold on tight,
It’s gonna be a bumpy flight –
Heartbeats thump and circuits hum,
As heavens here we come.

Countdown into single figures,
One last breathe and pull the triggers –
Engines fire and thrusters thrust,
And Jupiter or bust.

We’re up, we’re up-and-away !
Too late to pray,
Too late for anything but onwards.
Course is set,
But don’t blink yet –
Don’t want to miss the great beyond…

We’ve slipped the bounds,
But don’t look down,
Look straight ahead into the future –
Feel its kick
In spine and ribs,
And don’t be sick when coming to.

And after all that smoke and fury,
All that science, all that glory –
Now it’s all so strangely still
Atop the highest hill.

But oh, the view is worth the trip !,
As earthly problems loose their grip.
Cast off and sail the weightless sky,
Till the hydrazine runs dry.

And yes, that line is meant to say loose and not lose.

Outpost

Art by Vitaly Glovatsky (I am unable to discover its title)

Outpost 

Out here, we see them all come by, 
All those that come this way, that is – 
The trails round here are sparsely-spread, 
And we are kind of hard to miss. 
There may be horses, may be camels, 
May be llamas – all depends – 
And dogs, who have to earn their keep 
As guards or hunters, or as friends. 
There’s a wall to offer shelter 
Since wind and tigers can’t be tamed – 
And then there are the soldiers, 
For even barren parts are claimed. 
So is it lonely ?  Not as lonely 
As the eagles overhead – 
And all will come this way in time, 
There’s nowhere else to go instead.

Dune

Speechless by Dave Platford

Dune

The desert is a beach
That has never known the sea,
A desiccated ocean
Where the bed has broken free,
A long-abandoned ruin
Where the rainclouds never play,
A once-abundant jungle
Where the trees have drained away.
The heat above, the cold below,
The sand will flood, the sand will flow,
And the waves are high, but the tide is slow,
And the haze is a shimmering spray.

Radio

Vintage AM FM Memorex Radio by L. Wright

Radio

Telepathy – could it be radio ?
Could we ever evolve to receive it ?
You’d better believe it !
Pigeon already can, you know,
Or at least, the magnetic field,
So science has revealed.
And then there’s electricity,
Made by the platypus and eel
To help them stun or feel.
And, for sheer simplicity,
We all see visible light, or course –
That’s the same old force !
But can we ever transmit ?
Even bio-luminescence,
Is a rare and gloomy presence,
Yet feels like it might fit –
Lengthening the waves it sends,
Detected by its friends
Who see much deeper in the red –
Though still only line-of-sight,
And still not bright.
Next – a wire in the head –
An aerial, but what does that solve ?
How could it ever evolve ?
And the energy required
To send the signal further than a voice
Will never make it nature’s choice.
No, we’ll never be wired,
We’ll never fill the air with fizz –
Not till we’re cyborgs, that is…

Inktober Week

Any artists may already be familiar with Inktober, where every day reveals a new word to prompt an lunch-hour’s doodle or a quick sketch on the train home.

Well, I decided to take some of those words as titles in an attempt to beat back the block. So this week (in the wrong month), I present my contribution to Inktober 2020.

Ah poetry – the consolation proze for those who can’t draw.