Planet Night Lights

Window lights swallowed most stars
save a few warriors:
Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Orion

But the city can’t wash away
the solidity of planets: Mars, rising
red over the gable facing
my lone dark window

Jupiter, hovering nearby
Saturn, lingering
in the halo of a crescent Moon

I fall asleep as Venus brightens dawn

Find Me

Still the stars are spinning
Meet me below their trails,
find me on the hill

Still our star is burning
Find me in a fire-lit cave,
meet me when the cold has won for the night

Still we are travelling on silent orbit
Keep watch with me when the turnings seems to hasten
Tell the wordless stories, sing familiar songs on repeat

Remind me the sky still is there
When you find me

Space Stuff Comping Up! (Reading List and Poetry)

I spent autumn getting back into my beloved science fiction and space in general.

Books I started reading:

  • The Tower and the Hive (series, sequel to the Talents trilogy) – finished two of five volumes. The Talents-universe Anne McCaffrey created just speaks to me with its unique atmosphere, slow and steady but still energetic pace, nostalgic feel, and threads of hard fiction (e.g. thorough description of life in domes on a Jupiter moon) among the crazy.
  • Spacefaring: The Human Dimension by Colin Phillinger; read the first few pages. Lovely blend of space exploration and psychology, as far as I can see. Not an easy read for tired evenings, but maybe for the upcoming holidays.
  • Cosmos, paperback version of Carl Sagan’s classic. Currently in my backpack, but as with the book above it needs some time and quiet to be truly appreciated. Hard to read on the train, but his wonderful command of metaphors and the like makes it worth the slow read an contemplation. When I find a seat in the mornings I try to read a few paragraphs to set the mood for the day.

I haven’t started Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophsics for People in a Hurry yet, but I’m looking forward to it as I thoroughly enjoy his (and his colleagues’) insights on Star Talk Radio.

My wishlist for Christmas contains mainly books, from Earth in Human Hands to Broca’s Brain.

Reading inspires me to write. I finished creating a series of haiku-styled factoids about our solar system which I’ll post as soon as I’ve decided whether to post them separately or in one big post. Apart from this I started collecting bits and pieces of thoughts on my reading material. I’ve been toying with some bigger ideas for a few months but they are not solid enough yet, though I might post fragments on their own.

 

Make the stars spin.

Make the stars spin,
make them dance for me,
make the stars spin,
crashing burning shadows in the sea –
Make the stars spin,
follow blazing trails in wakening dreams,
make the stars spin,
colours running together at our minds’ seams –
Make the stars spin,
follow me, let’s ride on comet tails,
make the stars spin,
ride with me when language fails.

I miss winter (a narrative poem I wrote last week)

I used to like the cold
then I turned to warmth, to summer heat, to storms and thunder on sweltering days, to soft autumn glory
but now I remember how open fields of snow used to give me space to breathe, a canvas for clear thoughts
and I recall how my lungs opened, exhaling dust and taking in the cold expanse of mountain ranges for the first time
I miss real winter

last night I discovered
that my unlikely muse is not only autumn at the turning point to clear winter,
with warm forest-wood eyes and at the same time piercing snowflakes
but the calm and steady touchstone of warmth on these cold days as well,
a blanket of friendly thoughts keeping the wind outside a Nordic wood cabin full of white pillows
so yes, I miss winter now

automatic world and a lack of stars

 

Some days ago I heard this song for the first time. It touched something deep inside of me. I miss a simpler world, less hectic, less abstract. I long for nights with more than just a few stars visible against the light pollution of the city. By making our world automatic and being oh so advanced (or so we think) we robbed ourselves of so much beauty.

I wish there were more people who’d write me letters or postcards. And if I found a way to live in a more rural area and still do academic work I’d be a really happy person; I’d even give up university if I knew for certain it was the right way.

I’ll write more about stars, space, simple living, and other dreams on another day. There’s something about it, something inside me. Something that won’t stay quiet.

Favourite Friday: Films

With real actors: Sahara (The 2005 one about finding a ship in the desert. I have no clue how popular this one is or was, but I like it.) Book of Eli, Dinotopia (Yeah, the dinosaurs are animated, but the actors are real people. Does a mini-series with three parts even count as a film? I think it does.)

Animation: I haven’t watched a lot of Disney stuff, but I like some of the newer films –  Brave, Tangled, and AtlantisI guess I’ll like Frozen as well (still haven’t watched it. Bad Starfish.)

Then there are a lot of films I liked, but which don’t have the “need to watch that again” factor. For example, a few weeks ago we watched Eva, which had some really cool effects, but the story was somewhat predictable. I might watch it again some time in the future, but it might be quite a while. I don’t feel like watching the Lord of the Rings films that often, but they are nice when watching them with other people once in a while. Same for fluffy stuff like Kung Fu Panda. I enjoyed the first two The Hunger Games films, but watching them again very soon? I don’t know. I’m looking forward for the film version of the third book, though! 

Bonus: Most hated movies. I won’t name all, but I’ll give two examples. First there is Minority Report. The movie itself was okay-ish, but my memories of the scene with this girl (Agatha?) jumping out of the water and screaming “murder” still scared the shit out of me for some years after watching it it school. Then, Prometheus. I only watched it because of the title (I have a weakness for science fiction referencing old mythology), and it was completely disgusting and terrible and just … horrible. And please, don’t ever make me watch cheesy romantic comedies, most are horrible as well – the only one I ever cared to watch twice was I.Q. (about Einstein and his colleagues playing match makers), and it wasn’t half as good the second time.

So if you want to grab a film to watch it with me –  feed me dystopia, beautiful pictures of breathtaking landscapes with other cultures, space (really have to watch Contact again) or even the paranormal, fantasy, treasure hunts (Indiana Jones stuff is okay, so are films like National Treasure or even Tomb Raider) or something combining all this.

call me star-child

When I was young, I dreamt of space –  space would be big enough even for me to find a place where I belong. Only the interstellar nebulae with their multidimensional structures of infinite colour spectra would be complex enough to hold all my dreams and thoughts. At school people used to say I was from Alpha Centauri, but I knew more than them about the worlds beyond our atmosphere, so I told them they were stupid because because Alpha Centauri was, is, will be until it explodes a star, not a planet, and my body is just like theirs, like yours, not made to live in the fires of a sun but in a realm both earthy and filled with cool air tasting of home and freedom. They tried to extinguish the flame of my adventurous spirit, my sense of wonder, tried to chase me out of a starry-eyed scientist’s Eden. But here I am, burning slower now that I’m not in the body of a child hungry for candy-cotton clouds of mysteries anymore, but still I’m burning strong, I reclaimed space and the oceans for my dreams now that the past seems farer away than the moon, so yes, you can call me star-child. I’m what some people might call indigo, a stranger, a visitor. You won’t be able to find my sign on the zodiac, you won’t know my ancestry so you might think I’m fairy born, one of the wee old folks dreaming away among moss covered stones and ivy curtains blowing between trees, but it’s just that the instincts for a way of life older than theirs and yours are encoded in my genes, my soul knows it was created by the only one more ancient than the stars. So call me star-child, for I am their younger sister.

——-

“[…] You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God […]” (Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”, 1927)

And yes, the thing about fellow students at school claiming I was from Alpha Centauri really did happen, and not only once.