Tidal Locking

Tidal Locking

The Moon is locked into the Earth,
She only shows her best side,
Keeps her dark side turned away.
But the Earth has nothing to hide,
Beneath her gaze, we spin on full display,
For the Earth is not beholden to the Moon –
Not yet, at least –
And it won’t be soon,
For the Earth is a massive beast.
Yet the Moon is trying, trying,
And will yet succeed, one day –
But not before the seas have boiled away.

Now take a smaller star instead,
Like Proxima Centauri –
Very dwarven, very red,
But orbiting we see Proxima b
A planet similar to Earth,
A tenth as close as Mercury
With liquid water on its bed –
Except, to be precise,
More likely steam and ice,
With one side always baking dry,
The other frozen, dark and dead
You see, when this close in, it does not spin –
But wait, that’s wrong,
We ought to say it has a year-long day.
(About eleven Earth-days long).

Now let’s imagine orbiting round Rigel,
A super-blue, so hot and bright,
And though a massive mass, his heat and light
Outpace his gravity –
So if we were to move the Earth to where
We’ll get a decent share to keep it all anthropical,
To keep the Arctic icy and to keep the tropics tropical,
We wouldn’t be so deep within his spacetime cavity.
You see – we’d need to be about, say, twelve-times-Neptune out –
That’s over two light-days.
Our seasons would last centuries, our year now thirteen-hundred years
And all to catch enough, but strictly not too many rays.
And actually, the daylight would be rather dim, I hear –
As most of Rigel’s output, it appears,
Is in the UV band,
And not the visible so much, not that far out.
So even though it’s warm, no doubt,
The photosynthesis of plants now won’t get such a shout,
While all of us get super-tanned.
His stellar wind is vicious, but I think we could withstand
From this far off – but satellites may end in tears.
But at least we get to spin on our own gears,
So that’s a win.
Rigel hasn’t got a hope to lock us in !

As I understand it, a planet wouldn’t naturally form so far out from its parent star, as there’s not enough material. Of course, it could be a captured rogue planet or ripped from another star.

Also, I saw Rigel’s name written bown in the astronomy books of my youth long before I hard anyone ever pronounce it, so gor me Rigel will always have a hard G.

A Nonny Mouse

A Nonny Mouse

We all of us
Are branded and defined –
So that must make me…
Well…nevermind.
If you catch my name
Then all the better,
But I won’t be the one
To drop it, not a letter.
Cos if I’m any good,
Then you’ll suss it in the end –
It’ll beam through the ether,
It’ll come round the bend.
But in the meantime
Go easy on the fame,
Cos my ego can take it
If you don’t know my name.

If you really wanna know
You can learn it –
But honestly,
I think I gotta earn it.
And all the folks
Who helped me along,
They’re worth a hand,
They’re worth a whole-damn song –
But they’re more then gabbled names,
They’re more than anecdotes –
And since you’ve never heard of them,
Best save it for the liner-notes.
But if you leave here
With a head full of fun,
Then whatever my name,
My work is done.

Purity Error

Purity Error

Back in the days of cathode rays,
Electron guns of RGB
Would bring the colour to TV –
Except they could get out of phase
If unwanted magnetic strays
Would tamper with the purity.

And boy, were mine unpure !
With ev’ry colour out of sync,
Where skies were green and trees were pink !
They told me there’s no easy cure –
“But I’ll get used to it, I’m sure”
I tried so hard to think.

I might have made it through,
But for the glaring lack of red
That ultimately screwed my head –
Faces, lips, and roses too –
Those cyan people made me blue
As if the aliens had bred !

I thought I dug the mood
To love all races in my sight –
But skin-of-denim just ain’t right !
So I rejected modern dudes
For old-time films and attitudes
That showed the world in black and white.

Momma Tongue

varient of the Hot Lips logo by John Pasche

Momma Tongue

There are five times as many Yankees
Speaking English as the English,
So who’s English do you think will win ?
Whatever the linguistic tankies wish,
We’re just a little fish –
Perhaps it’s time to take it on the chin ?
Or, to be overt (and probably incite your wrath) –
You do the math !

Ow !, that hurt.
So stark and ess-less on the page,
Just stoking up my British rage –
Yet kids today are fine to say it –
They don’t care, it’s just a thing you say,
Like missing out the pointless yoos
And adding honest zees
That they know we’ll criticize –
They choose to do it anyway,
These wize-guys.

So what’s my beef ?
Am I so shaky in my self-belief
I have to wave my flag
At quickening American ?
Does my inner Anglo-Saxon gag
And want to ban their New-World-ness ?
Well, yes…I guess.
But it’s all just arbitrary guff,
And how long can I really bluff
Until I must admit, their way makes sense ?
Time to quit – don’t be a bore,
For in this theater of war,
My double els are no defense.

I know I have no chance tonite
To tell the kids what they can say –
Just as my teachers had no right
To scold me for ‘okay’.
But oh !, it hurts to hear my cherished forms
Be cast away.
Yet if the kids choose that instead of this,
Well, who the hell am I then
To dismiss them for their choice ?,
As if I have a voice they’d listen to.
So on they plow their furrow
By their dollar, yard, and boro –
For kids will always marvel at what’s noo.

I can assure you that it isn’t only Americans who can make wrath and math rhyme. There are so many other voices than RP, despite the OED’s attempts to pretend otherwise.

By the way, I can’t help thinking the last line looks less New York and more Scottish ! I suppose I could say ‘nu’ instead, but I think that will lokk even stranger.

Suburban Spruces

de-spruced

Suburban Spruces

At the meeting of the streets
And the corners of the road,
So grows an unexpected copse
No seed has ever sowed.
It sprouts up overnight
Like a fungus on the make –
This squatter on the pavement,
Brings the Winter in its wake.
Its trees have all blown over,
And its needles all have shed
To the gutters and the breezes,
Until even these have fled.
Then suddenly one morning
We shall find the corner bare,
Save the grey of frost and concrete
And the chill upon the air.

One Size Fails All

One Size Fails All

Office chairs with starfish bases,
Wobbly levers, sofa wheels –
They never fit quite right, most cases –
Either leaving swinging heels,
Or bunched-up knees and hunched-down shoulders,
Wimpy pistons full of slack.
But still, a useful perch for folders
Till the backside needs it back.

The Inner Demon

Inner Demons by AConstantBother

The Inner Demon

Think right, say right,
Keep it careful, keep it kind –
Keep a clean and healthy mind
That wants no truck with spite.
And yet, that inner voice
Who always loves its little games,
Who always knows the nasty names,
Will whisper up its choice.
It knows they’re wrong, and that’s the point,
It’s daring us to shout them out
Because they’re wrong and still have clout
Because they’re out-of-joint.
It’s bating us to say the word –
It wants to make us take the blame
For ev’ry hurtful hateful name
We’ve ever heard.
But these are not our whole –
These shall not define or break us,
Just stray thoughts and troublemakers –
We are in control.
It only loathes itself, infact,
But we can still refuse to sink –
Let’s judge us not in what we think,
But how we act.

Dry January

dry january

Dry January

I overindulged last month:
Had far too many ideas.
Now I’m a bloated, empty husk
Who’s run right out of tears.
My motor’s barely revving now,
From weeks of crunching gears.
My spark is fused, my wit is blown,
I haven’t a thought to call my own.

Euphoric Euphorbia

poinsettia

Euphoric Euphorbia

Come the Twelfth Night and the tinsel comes down –
It’s time to de-decorate, if that’s a verb –
The fairy lights lodged in a box in the loft,
And the tree swiftly shunned to the kerb.
But we always leave the poinsettia,
She’s always the last to go –
We purge the urge to scourge the spurge,
As long as she’s on show.
For maybe a little of Christmas lives on
While her red and her green are in clover –
But after a week, so she’ll wither as well,
And that’s when the season is over.

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight

Twenty-Twenty – what a blast,
The year when the planets kissed !
We were so young and life so vast,
With not a moment missed.
We met by chance, we met online,
When hiding from the flu –
That year I tippled too much wine
And fell in love with you.

Twenty-Twenty – let it sing,
The year we sang our tryst !
The swallows came upon the Spring,
And you had taught me whist.
From kitchen top or garden bench,
Our screens would share the view,
That year I learned to speak in French
And fell in love with you.

I know, I know, we were the lucky ones,
Laughing along with the doomsayers’ chimes –
We weren’t the heroes, we were the stuck-at-homes,
Making the best of the worst of times.
But when I look back on that strange, strange trip,
I’m glad that we saw it through –
If I ever must face the Apocalypse,
Then the end is much better with you.

Twenty-Twenty – whole world shook
In the year when we mustn’t move –
I tried and failed to write a book,
And saw my cakes improve.
I spent all day upon the phone,
And watched how the garden grew –
In the year of my neighbour’s loud trombone,
And falling in love with you.

I know, I know, we were the silly ones,
Giggling our way through the horror of it all.
I know that we felt it, just like the millions,
But those aren’t the memories we choose to recall.
I’m glad that we were lived with that strange, strange fate,
When the world was surreal and new –
If I ever must wait such a lonely wait,
Then the lonely’s much better with you.