Archive for the ‘Imaginings’ Category

Three gleaming planets
lined up in the eastern sky
covered in robots.

Lately I’ve been waking up to Venus shining in my bedroom window. Yesterday I learned she wasn’t alone; this morning I went out to see Venus, Mars, and Jupiter lined up in the sky, with the crescent moon shining overhead and Orion keeping watch alongside. Mercury might have been visible too, if I’d had a clear horizon.

Earthsky’s Visible Planets

Mars is much made of these days, with its water and its Ridley Scott movie and its Curiosity Rover. The red planet has quite a complement of robots aboard: active rovers Curiosity and Opportunity, orbiters Odyssey, Express, MRO, MOM, and Maven, and a whole litter of past missions. Venus most recently played host to Messenger, but has its own share of defunct machines scattered about. Galileo orbited Jupiter for two years and dropped an atmospheric probe before falling to its own demise in the gas giant’s eternal haze. It was startling to look up at those specks in the sky and realize that humanity has touched them.

Saturn is an evening star these days. If Portland’s own eternal haze should lift tonight, I’ll look for that gleaming yellow speck and think of Cassini.

Earth, the pale blue dot.

Earth, the pale blue dot.


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It’s all a game

to you you play

and play and pause

to save the day

then on your way

Not for you the pain

the empty place

where once the one you love

did wait

now gone away

Until one day

the grief comes home to stay

the game no longer play

the brave face

the faith

all gone and you

alone remain.

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You gave up
resigned yourself
to life without her.
Both knowing the cost
and considering the risk worthwhile.
But she knew you would return to her
never wavered in her faith
never wondered.
A thousand years could pass
and she would still be there
free to leave you any time
she would remain.

And you?

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You were warned
that time was short
that the end of your time
was near
You didn’t listen.

All your games
your rambling life
your whims
would cost you
Still you played.

It has begun
the stakes are rising
each new turn
more painful than the last

now what?

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What I wanted

I wanted to say I love you
though I was sure you knew
I wanted to say it.

I wanted to hold your hand again
safely in mine
I wanted to feel you with me.

I wanted to see you smile again
and brush away your tears
I wanted you happy.

I wanted to keep you for myself
to the end of your days
instead I let you go.

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Futile planet
alone against the black
victim to the roiling whims
of heartless matter and indifferent energy.

So permanent she seems
drifting through space, serene
temporary as a spark
doomed as a snowflake
without hope or recourse
without friend or ally.

So brief our time
filled end to end with movement
misery, drama
perpetual absurdity
in the sure face of inescapable extinction.

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Night Beacon

Wandering star

your steady light shining

through mist and cloud and fog.

Jupiter, mighty

five hundred million distant

lofty, never-ending miles

now but a brilliant speck

a brighter star among the multitudes.

Why is it

so corporeal a thing

vast and absolute

conjures up dreams?

How is it fantasy

visions in my mind

may be more real

than the life before my eyes?

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A few alternate lyrics:

Take my heart
take my hand
by your side I’ll always stand
My courage and my love you need
you can always count on me

We may live
or we may die
out to the edge of space we fly
The end of time, we will see
you can always count on me

There’s no place we can’t be
out across infinity
you can always count on me…

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The boy sat on the bank, looking down at the full moon reflected in the still water. It shone and shimmered, solid and ethereal at once.

Come away, it seemed to say.

He touched the water with his toe. It was icy cold. The moon waved and undulated as the ripples passed over it, beckoning him like a gypsy dancer. He shrank back and hugged himself.

Come away, it seemed to say.

He thought of his snug home. Mum and Dad had been shouting again, too loud to hear him creep out into the night. He could hear them still. He knew they loved each other, but why couldn’t they just say so?

The image of the moon steadied across the water. Come away, it urged him, leave behind the anger and the tears. Dance beneath the moon in the frosty grip of night.

The boy looked up at the real moon hanging low in the sky. Her light was warm, somehow, and soothing, the yellow of fresh cream. She did not waver. Distant stars twinkled dimly beyond her corona. They said nothing as he stared. The wind whispered fantasy in his ears, and a chill ran down his spine. The world fell still.

“Jonah?” said his mother’s voice. “Please come home.”

The boy jumped to his feet and ran.

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Nine, revised

I’ve gotten over my disappointment in CE, for his open dislike of the program he returned to life. He did not allow his feelings to color his performance. He set aside his disdain and poured all his heart and passion and joy into the character, making something possible that had been a distant dream.

And so I must revise my expression.



I was captivated by a smile
a mad delight in the most unlikely things
an optimism in the face of loss
a strange kind of humanity.
I joyfully followed the journey
the harrowing terrifying amazing journey
laughing and crying and lying sleepless at night
monsters under my bed.
How I loved you, admired you
mourned you
for though some trace remains,
something irreplaceable is gone.

Still, with gratitude I recall your face
your passion, your delight
your rage.
Thank you for the journey
the harrowing terrifying amazing journey
the smile, the strange humanity
enshrined forever in our hearts.


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