Category Archives: Sonnets

Sonnet 42


Black hole shreds star, sparking gamma ray flash

Sonnet XLII

The black hole’s great singularity tow
draws everything into its gravity
cauldron. Pay close attention to it grow.
Since collapsing vigorous cavity
is so different from any explosive,
yet cosmic event that’s been seen before,
annihilation will seem corrosive.
Detectives troll the universe for more
gamma ray bursts. All of the light is sucked
in its massive gravitational pull.
A tidal disruption, an implied duct,
insatiable, and never to get full.
Galaxies harbor black holes in their heart
where mid-sized stars existed at its start.

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Hear this on chirbit

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Posted for:

OpenLinkNight ~ Week 55

Photo credit:  NASA handout illustration of a growing supermassive black hole

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Sonnet 41


A star is born: Swirling gas and dust fall inward, spurring polar jets, shown in blue in this illustration.

Sonnet XLI

The building blocks of water traveling
around a protostar remain swaddled
in a gas cloud that is unraveling.
These are our constituents: we’re stars trapped
in mere skin and bones: human prodigies
who see droplets shoot t’ward space at sonic
speed, great jets blast in epic quantities,
and stellar gases that are symphonic,
poetic, onomatopoeic rites
of stardust passage. Swirling gas and dust
fall inwardly. Such embryonic lights
made of oxygen, hydrogen and rust
are just water-droplets, bullets, slowing
into shocked waves of suns that are glowing.

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Hear this on chirbit

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Posted for:

OpenLinkNight ~ Week 51

Photo credit:  National Geographic

Sonnet XL


Custom, Gaskets by Ontario Gasket Inc.

Sonnet XL

The rubber’s fed on a machine,
it’s heated up to fit the mold,
then pressed until the foam is very lean,
and punched, or cut – it’s all controlled.
They’re fitted on a metal head,
to seal up gas or lubricants,
resistant seals are used widespread;
so many shapes with usefulness.
Gaskets aren’t clearly visible.
They are there, sealing and forming.
They’re optimal, reliable,
elastic and high performing.
Harsh and varied technologies
use them without apologies.

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Written for:

Machine Dreams

Also Posted on:


The Think Tank Thursday # 96 News

The challenge for this week, by chazinator, was to write a poem that references in some way the technological or machine spirit of our time.

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Space Craft Technology Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

I went on a Press pass because I have a column on Nanotechnology now (see the right side of my page, there’s a link.) My column is writing poetry. Ontario Gasket, Inc. had an interesting display of their gaskets. Since this gasket topic does not fit the nanotechnology column, I am posting on my blog.

I decided to write a sonnet about this. Why? Well, I figured everyone else would be writing about some kind of technological system, or maybe something philosophical about the impact of technology on mankind and society and all that. I was certain (still haven’t looked) that no one would take one specialized vital part and write about it.

In case you wonder how vital gaskets, o-rings and other seals are in machines, look up Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and learn that it was a Viton ® O-ring that failed and caused the explosion.

Image credit: Bat-Ami Gordin  © 2012 all rights reserved, credit if you use it, please.

Sonnet XXXIX


Galactic bubble with an embryonic star least 8 times the mass of the Sun nestled in its shell. This star could one day be one of the brightest in the galaxy.

Sonnet XXXIX

Calculating the probabilities
that our world is constructed uniquely ―
intoxicating possibilities
that others will cross our way obliquely.
Let’s ponder how life might exist elsewhere,
it’s sensible! Where are the right pools
for life to begin, so temperate and fair?
Astrobiologists do not have those rules
to explain the riddles of creation,
or the imprint of initial cosmos.
Astronauts query, in the space station:
they study the origins of homos.
The knowledge they uncover is sublime,
to feed dreams we will share for all of time.

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Photo credit:  European Space Agency

Sonnet XXXVIII


Aurora Looking Like Rain from ISS

Sonnet XXXVIII

We all have pondered a full nights of stars.
We’ve stared into the mosaic of space.
We’ve wished to settle planets such as Mars,
and hoped to find life in another place.
Ten thousand sounds from a noiseless goddess
sing to us as rotational motions ―
persist to send refined lines of darkness
that shock our contemplative emotions.
The Aurora looks like a thunderstorm.
On the most sacred night, after you blinked,
see the blackened sky take on a new form.
Everything in the universe is linked.
Foreboding omen of the northern sky;
spelling-binding apparition floating by.

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This picture was taken by @Astro_Wheels Astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock on November 20, 2010.

I got it off his twitpic site.

Sonnet XXXVII


Solar Activity Impacts Earth's Magnetic Field

Sonnet XXXVII

Powerful magnetic forces tangled
in the solar wind, fracture and shatter
then rejoin with vengeance till flares, mangled
and twisted in bits of stellar matter,
pop-off on the solar surface. It’s jazz
played with frenzied brutality. It’s twitching
epileptically toward the poles. Viewed as
dynamic motions, it keeps enriching
catastrophic solar events. The sun
is miasmic. It is a complex beast.
It churns and quivers. It stops for no one.
A ball of hydrogen, to say the least!
Fluids ebb and flow on a disc shaped star,
materials suddenly fling out far.

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 The Sun is a seething ball of ionized gas, called plasma, and has very complex magnetic fields that interact with this plasma.  The Solar activity impacts the magnetic fields of the Earth. It also has significant influence on Earth’s weather.

The picture comes from:

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/

http://mblogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/06/14/the-sun-may-be-headed-for-a-little-quiet-time/

Sonnet XXXVI


Mystery of the Lights of Mankind

Sonnet XXXVI

Halogen splendidly shines. Tungsten floods.
Illuminated motorways span
the distinctive desert landscape. Light buds
are a bright incandescent urban plan.
Congruent energies are constrained
to white lines. Regions delineated
by mercury-vapors can be contained
in a contrasting field. Initiated,
baffling magic underscores mankind’s offspring.
They grew wings to fly and live between light
and dark. They see spider web lamps flick’ring
when sparkling crystals twinkle through the night.
Astronauts see cities like a portrait
as they sojourn through levels of orbit.

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Posted on:

OpenLinkNight ~ week 36

This comes from

http://twitpic.com/54dln1

It’s a picture by @Astro_Wheels AKA Douglas H. Wheelock taken on May 29, 2011 from the International Space Station.

It was hard to write. What to write about for such a cool but strange picture? I had to research types of lighting to get some great terms to add in (halogen, mercury-vapor, incandescent.)

Sonnet XXXV


Newly Discovered Supernova in the Whirlpool Galaxy

Sonnet XXXV

A superstar stellar celebrity
has appeared in the evening sky. Among
the worldwide observing community,
no one ever saw a starburst this young.
The inner clockwork of this titanic
event, was ranked as a universal
episode of intensity. Cosmic
explosions were seen by professional
digital astroimagers. They prepared
very large aperture telescopes,
then witnessed what the precursor star dared
to do before bursting. Everyone hopes
to glimpse the event with reinforced eyes:
that brilliant whirlpool that lives in dark skies.

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Posted on:

Open Link Night ~ Week 34

This is a hubble space telescope picture. It’s just gorgeous.

Sonnet XXXIV


Ancient Supernova Spits Gamma Ray Fire

Sonnet XXXIV

Ionic currents light the nebula.
Most lustrous waves of fury in the sky,
growing remains of a supernova.
Super-charged neutron-star. Pulsar. Whereby,
feint gamma rays in a smoky curtain
flash actively in a magnetized state.
Chemiluminescent radiation
blasting ions at a powerful rate.
The most powerful particle sources,
a luminal heart of a shattered star,
spins and lights up stellar resources
in a dragon galaxy spitting fire.
Across the electromagnetic field,
enormous flares are splendidly revealed.

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This comes from

http://www.space.com/11640-ancient-supernova-spits-gamma-ray-fire.html

I don’t have much to say about this. I liked the picture, and I loved the title, thought it was poetic, so I wrote this sonnet.

Sonnet VI


>  Logo of the Center for NanoScience was “written” by pushing around
atoms of Gold [PTCDA = Au(11) using a nanomanipulator.”]

Sonnet VI

Atomic beach balls tossed beyond the bumps
of solid golden strips will now design
a strange imaginary landscape. Clumps
of particles appear to now entwine.
Electrons guided with some magic wands
create a message to my covered eyes.
These nanonistic, small molec’lar bonds
reveal to me all earthly matter ties.
I track and hover through the quarks of chance
enthralled by how our measurements can rule
the future of all technical advance;
A strange discovery: a student’s tool.
By thought and reason great ones had their turn.
now, with my hands, some new things I shall learn.

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I wrote this one in 1993 after attending an IEEE convention in Seattle and learning about the Nanomanipulator. Warren Robinet was speaking and he said, “Imagine atoms the size of beach balls…” He was referring to a futuristic version of the nanomanipulator, where a virtual image of atoms (like a hologram) would be in the air, right in front of your face. You would have the capability of moving atoms around, like moving beach balls in the air. But that would not be a dream. That would not be a game. It would be a virtual interface to a nanomanipulator, and you would really be moving around atoms within the scanning tunneling microscope. He discussed how in the future, this could be a pedagogical method of teaching chemistry. That is, the students would learn molecular structure by actually moving around the virtual atoms and creating molecules.

His presentation was very stimulating, so I wrote this sonnet. I sent to him, and he sent it to the lab. They posted the sonnet on the bulletin board in their lab, and then Russell M. Taylor  published the sonnet in the appendix of “The nanomanipulator: a virtual-reality interface for a scanning tunneling microscope.”  http://www.warrenrobinett.com/nano/index.html

A great link to get an idea of how a nanomanipulator moves atoms around would be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W7lcYoBA98