This last year, I’ve had an occasional bash at writing poetry. I don’t think I’m any good, despite having read quite a bit of it recently (see here, for example; and here). What I – try to – write is science fiction poetry. Because, well, I like science fiction. And it’s as fit a subject for poetry as anything else.
So here’s one of my meagre efforts.
As functional and contained as coffins,
ships hang like bats against the void
while captains haggle for air,
for fuel and supplies.
At rest but forever in motion,
they spin about the stars,
painted by the light of other suns.
A beacon flashes,
urgent in the void, as
one ship slips her mooring.
The gentle blown breath of her
manoeuvring thrusters, and she slides
easily and inevitably
from the station’s replenishing fold.
With illusory speed, she flees –
there are no visual cues against
the thrown cloth of black, vaster than empires,
and pierced by pinpoint furnaces which stare
unceasingly from the deep heavens.
she’s gone –
in pursuit of otherwheres,
I can see her destination,
a tiny dot of distant brightness.
I know she will be there much sooner
than the spent light of that remote sun
has taken to reach me.
If I could collect the photons from that distant star
and render the images the quanta encode…
I’d see the past as present:
dinosaurs thundering across a fetid Earth.
November 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm
‘ere, now, this is nice, innit? Poetry is a tough beat to take on, requiring pinpoint, precision word choice. Why not SF verse? What deserves the poetic approach more than space stations, spinning gas giants, time stretched beyond the eternal? You’ve approached the task with typical seriousness, tact and smarts. Your effort reads well and articulates its message with brevity and thrilling passages. Luvly stuff…
November 21, 2008 at 1:23 pm
Ta for the kind words.
November 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm
Hi ian – thanks for sharing (I jumped over from PFool) – I liked your piece. But, always a questioner, I wonder if you couldn’t make it work better by less exposition. Why “As functional” as opposed to simply “Functional?” etc. I feel like a lot of verbiage could be removed without loss of clarity – and I wonder if the reader couldn’t be forced to think/exercise his/her own imagination too. That said, it’s a nice shift to the personal perspective in the 2nd part – and I enjoyed it.