Reading Time: < 1 minute They say we have woken From a long night of magic, Of cravings, Fire for fire, earth for earth. A wind springs up. The birds stir in the dovecotes. It is so clear in this cold light That the firmament turns without music, That when the stars forge The atoms of our being No smith […]
Rebecca Elson, Ph.D. (1960-1999) was a Canadian-American astronomer and poet. Her research at Princeton and Cambridge focused on star clusters and galaxy formation, including 70 published contributions. Much of her poetry incorporates physics or astronomy in imaginative ways or reflects on her own impending death. Elson died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at 39.
Returning to camp
Reading Time: < 1 minute I have gone among those rutting Stamping wind-blown men Out on the fields of heat. I have felt their voices hammer Like the stone axe, Felt what it is to feel The need of ligament To arc the body as a bow, Unsheaf the bones And send them flying Hard into the haunch of space. […]
Antidotes to fear of death
Reading Time: < 1 minute Sometimes as an antidoteTo fear of death,I eat the stars. Those nights, lying on my back,I suck them from the quenching darkTil they are all, all inside me,Pepper hot and sharp. Sometimes, instead, I stir myselfInto a universe still young,Still warm as blood: No outer space, just space,The light of all the not yet starsDrifting […]
Olduvai song line
Reading Time: < 1 minute Here our ancestors are sung Through labouring lips, A tunnel of loins, stretching Hot and long to this dry gorge Where some are rising still To score the surface With their bones Used by kind permission of Carcanet Press, Manchester, UK