ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem was inspired by the Great American Eclipse. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"Even for an Old Soul"


I remember walking the earth when
the Sun was a god whose departure
terrified the screaming masses, and
watching the shadows change with
a vague sense of familiarity, how I
held a ball in front of the fire and
tried to explain half-recalled physics.

I remember floating above it all
and watching the moon's shadow
race across the face of the planet,
so different from the view below,
yet no less mysterious, no less lovely.

In between, I stand among a crowd,
now awestruck rather than fearful,
the air smoked with barbecue
instead of sacrificial fires,
thinking how nice it is that
nobody is panicking for me
to clean up after; and this, too,
is wonderful in its own way.

It is a moment matched
with other moments in
a long necklace of lives,
a bright connection that
helps me to remember who
I have been and ever will be.

No matter how many times
I've seen a solar eclipse, it never fails
to take my breath away and close my throat
with the sweet ache of its fierce beauty.

Some things never get old,
even for an old soul.

* * *

Notes:

Read about eclipses.

An old soul is someone whose many prior incarnations influence how they move through their current one.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker is hosting a Musical Hat Draw on the theme of "stars."  Pick a favorite star text that is either yours or in the public domain and submit it.  The composer will then draw some of those from a hat and set them to music.  Finished pieces will be put up for sponsorship.  :D  This is somewhat inspired by my Poetry Fishbowl project, so I'm excited to see someone else trying this kind of crowdfunding.

I've already submitted my "Starfire Rising" (not online yet, and if featured, the lyrics will also be sponsorable).  If you have another favorite, mine or anyone else's drop it in the hat.  What would you like to hear set to music?  Let there be starlight!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Check out this awesome photo of the eclipse.  Then scroll down to see the camera itself.

Ayup, there's the kind of camera that Chris from Schrodinger's Heroes would use to take a picture.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
There has long been a theory that it could rain diamonds on Neptune and Uranus.  Scientists recently replicated this process in the lab.

:D  If you love it, put a ring on it!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug found this awesome image of eclipse crescents scattered over historic buildings in Portland. 
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
In return for a beautiful day and a truly stellar performance from the Sun God and Moon Goddess, I am posting one of my eclipse poems for free.  You can see some of my eclipse photos here.


"Only in the Gift"


I have seen the moon-shielded sun
and the Father God winking
as he turns his one wide eye
back toward the waiting world 

a reminder that we live,
moment by moment, 
only in the gift of
his infinite light.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is the freebie for the [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam, prompted by [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "curiosity" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest.


"Goldilocks and the Three Planets"


Once upon a time,
there was a little girl
with short blonde curls
who wanted to explore space.

So Goldilocks got into her spaceship,
and she traveled a long, long way
in search of planets to explore.

The first planet she found was too hot!
It snuggled up right next to its sun,
and even the rocks melted.

The next planet she found was too cold!
It was far, far away from its sun,
and even the air was frozen.

So Goldilocks went home to her library.
She turned on her computer and
took out her books and studied.
She read all about stars and planets
and something called physics.

Then next time Goldilocks
went exploring in her spaceship,
she looked for suns with planets that
were not too close and not too far.

These were much better planets.
Some were a little warm, or a little cold,
so she kept looking for more middle ones.

Soon Goldilocks found a planet that was just right!
It was not too hot or too cold, too big or too small,
and it had soft soil for growing yummy things.

Goldilocks got out of her starship
and put up a habitat dome and
began to plant a garden.

She was very happy in
her new home, and people
began to say that such planets
were in "The Goldilocks Zone."

And she's still there!

Eventually the aliens came home,
but that's another story.

* * *

Notes:

"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is a fairytale about boundaries and moderation.  Read a version online, or enjoy a video.

"The Goldilocks Zone" is the area of space around a star where planets are likely to have liquid water on the surface, and therefore may be habitable for life as we know it.  (Life not as we know it may prefer other environments.)

ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Lego is releasing 5 new minifigs of NASA women.  Things I noticed: 1 has white hair, 1 is black, 3 out of 5 are wearing glasses, 4 out of 5 have short hair, and only 1 seems to be wearing lipstick.  Used to be, the only distinctions of feminine gender were the lipstick and ponytail features on minifigs.  Yay, progress!
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by the diving incident storyline from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and a comment from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "scientist" square in my 12-1-16 card for the iPod Shuffle Music Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... with the successful launch of 104 satellites from a single rocket.  That's almost three times the previous record, 37 from Russia.  Cluster rockets are fantastic tools.  \o/

Star Gears

Feb. 5th, 2017 04:39 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Is it just me, or does this nebula really look like this timer piece we just built?  I mean, I've described the Universe as a clock before -- you wind it up, let it go, it winds down, you rewind it; Big Bang, Big Crunch -- but I wasn't expecting it to be this obvious.  I'm thinking of the two rubber bands, and thinking of entropy and syntropy, and now I'm imagining God leaning over this nebula and swearing because the laws of physics don't want to go in the holes quite right.  Not to mention the jumpgates in The Blueshift Troupers and how people argue over what powers them, like solar wind mills or subspace waterwheels, and it hadn't even occurred to me that we could be looking right at  some of the moving parts, and just never recognize them as technology. I never would've noticed this if I had not just been working on that part ten minutes ago.

Robonauts

Feb. 4th, 2017 05:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Currently in development: robot astronauts.

Now all we need are astronauts comfortable with bilocation and we can have "manned" missions using a distal body. Cyborgs could probably handle a distal body just fine. Look for people who are blinging up their prosthetics. Hell, look at quadriplegics who need a whole prosthetic body. I wonder if we could get Stephen Hawking to drive one of these things.

Think about all the other jobs this could open up for people with flimsy bodies.  Search-and-rescue.  Deep-sea work.  Nuclear reactor repair.

Terramagne probably has some of this in place already, since their robotics are a couple decades ahead of ours.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Astronaut Eugene Cernan has passed away. He was the last man to walk on the Moon.

"We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind." -- Cernan's closing words on leaving the moon at the end of Apollo 17

We haven't been back since, alas.  Perhaps he locked it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kelkyag and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "ingenuity" square in my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "quantum theory" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus and [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Jump gate showing diamond ring of light (blueshift)
This poem came out of the February 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "asexual / demisexual species" square in my 1-23-16 Platonic card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot. It belongs to The Blueshift Troupers shared world.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features a botched first contact, intolerance of asexuality, sexual assault, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As people travel, they take their stories with them, and those stories change slowly over time.  The evolution of mythology thus parallels the paths of migration. 

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