Rocket Roll

robbie
Blues Machine by Eric Joyner

 

Rocket Roll

To ev’ry band who never hit the heights,
Who play the clubs but never play the halls;
Whose name will never burn in lights,
Nor posters hang from bedroom walls –
Who always watch their fellow dudes a-strut,
And always think “We’re just as good as that !”
Who feel the calling in their gut,
But never feast upon the fat –
You’ve got the amps, you’ve got the tunes,
You’ve got your share of dweebs and loons –
Yet still you only smoulder, never blast.
You missed your chance to quit this town,
It’s gravity that keeps you down.
You’re only growing older and surpassed.

But ev’ry band with unloved riff and chord
Can always hope that Later Times may find
That album ev’ryone ignored,
And bring you forth to futurekind:
To fill the galaxy with your guitars,
And play your ballads on a thousand earths,
And sing your melodies to stars
For centuries beyond your births.
You’ve got the chance, you’ve got the pluck,
You’ve got your share of random luck:
May yet your thrusters fire, rockets gun ?
A soundtrack to the pioneers,
The very music of the spheres,
Could see you flying higher than the sun.

 

 

Newton’s Cradle

newton
Isaac Newton as a Child

 

Newton’s Cradle

A child is born in dead of winter,
Child to bring the summer in:
He teases rainbows from the sunshine,
Lets enlightenment begin.
He brings us universal laws:
For as above, then so below;
He shows the path that we must follow,
Teaches how the heavens go.

Brightly shines his star above
In both his eyepiece and his eyes;
His clockwork earth perturbs the sun,
His motion never dies.
He shows us how all things must love:
We all attract and all obey.
So promises the savant one
Who’s born on Christmas Day.

A child is born in dead of winter,
Child to set the world alight:
He mechanises all our fluids,
Magnifies the heavens bright.
He stands atop the giants’ shoulders,
Calculates the cosmic story –
From the leastest fractions upwards,
His the powers and the glory.

He wants to save the human genus
From the couterfeiter’s haul.
Apples are the fruit of learning:
Worlds shall rise to meet their fall.
He shows us how the warmth between us
Never really goes away;
Hark the one who keeps us burning,
Born on Christmas Day.

 

 

Thanks-Giving

sky space dark galaxy
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Thanks-Giving

Let us give our thanks to the universe for hosting us,
Even if it doesn’t even know that’s what it does.
And even if it does, it wouldn’t care that it had made us
When it’s only accidental that its stellar constants aid us;
And anyway, we’re here today – I guess we can’t evade us,
Even though we’re only just-because.
But anyhow, we’re here now, and that’s what really matters:
Neither choked nor gasping, and neither froze nor burned.
But anthro-cosmologic-thought just fills the void and flatters,
For if we ever never were, we wouldn’t know we weren’t.
So thank-you, universe, (not that you care) –
Thank-you just for simply being there.

 

 

Area 42

Ufo
Ufo by süleymanakçay

 

Area 42

Aliens, aliens,
Somewhere they’re out there !
The odds are so great,
And the physics agrees.
They just need a planet
With temp’rature fair,
With water that’s liquid,
And low stellar breeze.
And who would have thought it,
But when we went looking,
There’s thousands of planets
Just lurking all over.
So down in their oceans,
What might they have cooking ?
Alas, they’re too distant
To send out a Rover.

Ah, but imagine if we could !
Just grab our towels and jelly beans
And stride our cosmic neighbourhood !
If only we could learn the means.
Until such time, it might be wise
To doubt the news, and watch the skies.

Forget about greys
Or a buxom blue femme,
We know they’ll look nothing
Like anything here.
For they’ll be as strange
As must we be to them,
From opposite ends
Of the final frontier.
So let’s not be too harsh
On yoofoo believers
For who knows what’s lurking
Beyond our ken  ?
But things are too distant
For radar receivers
To show us the saucers
Of little green men.

Ah, but imagine if they could !
Above high clouds, they’d scrutinise
Our quaint provincial neighbourhood.
Alas, I must dispute your cries.
The only people up there, guys,
Are far outside our lonely skies.

 

 

The Voyage of the Novum Organum

frontispiece
frontispiece from Novum Organum Scientiarum by Francis Bacon, art by anon

 

The Voyage of the Novum Organum

’Twas in the summer of ’20
When our galleon set sale.
Now gather ye, and plenty,
As I lay the fearless tale:
We soon approached the pillars bold
That Hercules himself, we’re told,
Had planted, so’s to say “Behold !
Behold these sights, and quail !
Here lies the End of the Earth, my friends,
And who knows what may lie beyond ?
It’s time to find what you’re worth, my friends,
If dareꞌst ye leave your pond.
Will you view my gates as a warning ?
Then head for home on the turning tide.
Or will you view my gates as a dawning ?
Then pass on through to the other side !”

Who knows if God shall forsake us ?
Who knows where the currents take us ?
Over the seas on our questing quest:
With our fortunes pressed for the holy grail,
As on and on we sail.

So wise old Captain Bacon
Gave the word to pass on through.
We prayed he weren’t mistaken
And a-gambling with his crew.
We sailed betwixt those ancient piers,
And set a course for new frontiers.
Once Argonauts, now pioneers !
’Twas time to earn our due.
“There lies the Start of the Earth, my friends,
When we find out what lies ahead !
It’s time to give rebirth, my friends,
It’s time to raise the dead !”

We knew great riches would await us,
All our maps were full of exes !
We dug up booty with apparatus,
And unearthed keys to fresh complexes.

Follow the clues, be smart and plucky;
Here be dragons, if we’re lucky !
Over the seas on our questing quest:
The better we guessed, the more we unveiled,
As on and on we sailed.

We plumbed that deep wide ocean
So’s to chart her reefs and bars
The first we found was motion –
It was written in the stars !
Then spied we microscopic forms –
A hidden world of tiny swarms.
We shuddered, but we rode such storms,
And better for the scars.
There lies so much joy on this Earth, my friends –
Let’s find out what we share her with !
There’s nowhere upon her in dearth, my friends –
She’s always more to give !
We sailed upon her seas of numbers,
Fathomed her amounts amounting:
Formulas and patterns slumbered –
Ev’rything, we learned, was counting.

And the point where the limit of our learning meets,
There’s always a fair wind filling our sheets.
Over the seas on our questing quest:
The more we professed, the more we regaled,
As on and on we sailed.

The further out our striving,
So the better stocked our stores.
And always we’re arriving
Onto ever-stranger shores.
And on those lands we took our drills
And tapped the streams and dug the hills
And set down bridges, rails and mills,
And just and noble laws.
We learned how the whole of the Earth, my friends,
Is built from the same few blocks, not more !
We learned how the life round her girth, my friends,
Is built from life before !
We sailed away to explore and learn,
And still there is so much more to find !
We know we can never again return
To that ancient world that we left behind.

We’ll never be bored and we’ll never be done;
We’ll never arrive at the setting sun.
Over the seas on our questing quest:
The more we progress, the higher we scale,
As on and on we sail.

 

 

Skywriting

fisher pen
The Fisher Space Pen

 

Skywriting

Infact, they both used pencils
Up until Nineteen Sixty-Seven,
When a privately-researched pen was announced
And NASA and Cosmonauts quickly renounced
Those flammable, lead-shedding pencils –
Americans first, with Apollo 7.
They should be so proud, that commie space-guys
Are writing with Yankie-most free-enterprise.

 

 

Star-Glazing

Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman giving a lecture on the motion of planets around the Sun

Star-Glazing

(after Walt Whitman)

When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer,
When the proofs and figures were ranged
In columns before me, to add and measure,
When shown his charts and diagrams strange,
When I, sitting, heard the Astronomer,
Where he lectured with much applause,
How soon, tired and sick, I stirred
And wander’d off by myself outdoors.
There in mystical moist night-airs,
From time to time I look’d up clear
In perfect silence at the stars,
(And thought them small, and rather near.)

This is my take on Walt Whitman’s poem of the opening line. I’ve shuffled things around and made it rhyme, but most of it is his words except for the last line. Turns out he was just a luddite after all.