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Monthly Archives: May 2013

3 haikus will launch on Mars MAVEN in 2013.  (An artist's conception of the MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

3 haikus will launch on Mars MAVEN in 2013. (An artist’s conception of the MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

Sometimes a poem gets to go
in your place

and say the first word
in another world.

Out of your hands
and into the vacuum

a poem gets to go
instead of you

and in your absence

it repeats and repeats
the same phrases

and grows fierce
and wild-eyed

convinced
that these few words
you gave it
say everything
that can be said

and you
if you were there
could point out
the landscape

constantly
rewritten

if only you got to go.

From "Old and New Astronomy" by Richard Anthony Proctor and Arthur Cowper Ranyard (1892).

From “Old and New Astronomy” by Richard Anthony Proctor and Arthur Cowper Ranyard (1892).

What was your role
on that summer night

when the blanket
on the lawn
was drenched
to the last thread
in honeysuckle

and we looked up
at a full moon
and didn’t see you

so locked
in the moment
and staring away
from Earth

turning a blind eye
on a stolen kiss

the hidden chaperone

looking away

for us.

Sleep
in this can

on this sargasso sea
between the unmarked
continents

sleep
on this bed
of nothing

while the sun
rushes in
through the window
to fill the ballast

then retreats

and the black
beneath your wake
stirs
and brightens

and thin currents
steer you
home.

_______________________
Image: The first American to sleep in space, Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper, describes sleep in his astronaut self-briefing. (From NASA’s “Postlaunch Memorandum Report for Mercury-Atlas No. 9 [MA-9].”)

Ernst Mach's 1888 photograph of bowshocks from a brass bullet.  The clipped words pasted onto the photo are from Mach's "Contributions to the Analysis of the Sensations" (1910).

Ernst Mach’s 1888 photograph of bow shock waves around a supersonic brass bullet. The clipped words pasted onto the photo are from Mach’s “Contributions to the Analysis of the Sensations” (1910).