History Never Changes

painted fore-edges by Cesare Vellecio

History Never Changes

The trouble with the past
Is that the past is pre-determined –
So we know just how it goes
Because it’s all already been.
Now at the time they must have felt so free,
Yet they’re confirming
That the past is fixed forever,
With no wiggle-room between.

Little did those little people know
There’s just one way for things to go,
And ev’ry time we play it back,
The same old things are still on track.
There’s no way to keep hold of dinosaurs
When dead is dead –
There’s no way to replay the wars,
Or Anne Boleyn to keep her head.

But wait – if there’s a script to act,
We write it out together
From a million potential drafts
That could go either way.
For just like us, they got to choose
But once they chose, they chose forever –
The past is post-determined,
Just as we shall be, some day.

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.


Vintage AM FM Memorex Radio by L. Wright


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 could 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 it further than a voice
Will never make it nature’s choice.
No, we’ll never be wired,
We’ll never fill the air with speech –
At least, not till we’re cyborgs each…

Spooky Action

Cathy’s Ghost at Heathcliff’s Window by Laurie Bron


Spooky Action

The laws of physics make it clear
That there can be no spirits here,
Without a source to power them –
Perhaps it is the sunken sun
That fires them up and makes them run ?,
And entropy must surely still devour them.

The peer review remains unmoved –
They’re theorised but never proved
The evidence just will not fit.
So if the afterlife should dwell
On ev’ry side, in parallel,
Then rest assured we cannot interact with it.

They cannot pass through solid matter
Less their waves and atoms clatter
With the particles they pass.
And if they do, they must be part
Of this same universe at heart,
With spectral spectra showing up their ghostly mass.

So wraiths and shades that shake our poise
Are phantom readings in the noise
And not some higher powers.
And if, with heightened fear and nerve,
We misreport what we observe –
The failing is not physics’ fault, but ours.



The Supernatural

Ghost Drawing by Herman Marin

The Supernatural

It may exist – it may at that – though we will never know,
Unless it can exert itself – but then we must ask when and how –
For if we ever see it come, or ever feel it go,
Then that – whatever that is – is as much a part of here and now –
For surely, supernature cannot ever be at war with nature,
Never interact with any thing with which it shares its space –
For even restless spirits must obey the laws of nature,
And even ghost neutrinos sometimes leave the faintest trace.

The Sky’s the Limit

Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

The Sky’s the Limit

I hear they’ve found another Super-Earth
Around another star –
A bit bigger round the waist,
But still as rocky as we are.
The gravity is stronger,
So the mountains are all lower,
But there’s no reason at all
That some life is not a goer.
Maybe life much smarter
Than the likes us down here,
But life that never gets to cross
The endless void, I fear.
They, like us, can only run so fast,
Can only reach so high,
But they must drag a greater ball-and-chain
Before they fly.

You see, that could have been us,
Had the Earth and Mars collided
In the days before the days
Before the proto-cells divided.
Life could still arise
From the planetary ash,
But could never hope to reach the Moon
(If the Moon survived the crash).
Rockets can only burn so bright,
But the g-force rises, ev’ry thrust –
When you have to ride a nuke to fly,
You’ll orbit as a smear of dust.
That’s the price of gravity’s embrace –
We’re hers for keeping –
And she’s a hard mistress, gravity,
Possessive and unsleeping.

Except, of course, our planet is
Just small enough to jump and fly,
(Not that we have, we grounded individuals
Trapped beneath the sky).
But others of our species have,
And probes have sent our eyes to dance
With Jupiter and Mercury –
And all because we had the chance.
And when the Sun is old and red,
Then we’ll be gone to boldly go –
Yet till that day, we only get to dream
Of all we’ll never know.
We may be stranded in the well,
But we are safe and warm, all told –
I hear it’s very beautiful up there,
But oh, so cold…

Follow Your Nosings

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Follow Your Nosings

Ev’ry staircase runs in two directions,
Even MC Escher’s –
Join midway – on a landing, say,
And we all must make selections –
Oh, the pressure !
Do we climb for the sky through the oculus eye ?
Or sink in the bowel of the gravity well ?
Perhaps it’s an endless trip round a Mobius strip…
Seems like Jacob’s dreams have gone to town,
As the stairs go up, but the stairs go down –
Descend today, and tomorrow we rise,
Or labour now for a future of ease.
Up is always hard on our thighs,
And down is hard on our knees.

Some Officers Have Coaches And Horses To Order About

detail from Royal Sappers & Miners, Working Dress, 1854 by George Campion

Some Officers Have Coaches And Horses To Order About

Landau, take me down the lane.
Hansom, turn beyond the trees.
Phaeton, take me home again
By fifty-four degrees.
Ride a tangent from the mews
To the sign of the Hypotenuse.

Adjacent to the Octogon,
Opposite the bend in the strand,
For a measurable distance on.
Times by the four-in-hand.
Send a spyder, send a fly,
On a steeplechase by the root of pi.

Lift thou Up thy Rod

salisbury cathedral withstands the wrath of god

Lift thou Up thy Rod

Just as a church is crowned by a spire,
And just as the spire is crowned by a cross,
So the cross is crowned by a stiffened wire
That points heavenwards and reaches higher,
Showing God that science is boss.
From king to serf to country squire,
Nobody’s prayers and nobody’s choir,
To God or Thor or Helios,
Can stop the bolt of electric fire –
Not any pope or priest or friar
Can tame the spark and spare the loss
Like copper can.  And that is why
There’s a spike that jabs the eye of the sky,
With a finger raised to the holy man on high.