Thursday, 17 November 2011

Scots Wha Hae Been Robbed

Men of Jockland, whaur ye be
rise oot o’ sleepless beds
An’ tak’ the airms o’ haunless men
an’ pull them frae their steeds.
For these gaunt chiels wi’ chisels sharp
tae cut for their intent
Wad carve an’ shape yer warldly hoors
an’ gar ye pay them rent.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Aldebaran Races

The Aldebaran ladies sing this song dah doo dah doo
The Aldebaran ladies are five miles long dah doo dah doo day.
Run on each of seven legs by day
And on twelve pseudopodia by night
Bet my credits on a sentient Crinoid Looping Nag
Somebody bet on the Arcturian Lepidopteroid Sprite.

For someone this is going home.
Across the universe
Despite the handicap of multiple arms
Of crystalline matrix intelligences,
There is common experience
There is the mundane.

For someone this is home
Where the food must arrive on the eating stool
Where the freshly flayed flesh of small bugs
Is toasted lightly over an iodine laser furnace
Until tender.

The Aldebaran ladies sing this song dah doo dah doo
The Aldebaran ladies are a thousand miles long dah doo dah doo day.
Fly on silicon-based ornithoid wings by day
Slither on liquefactive caustic slime by night
Bet all ten of my boots on a cyberian hag
Or a gigabyte lover at the speed of light.

For someone this is normal
Resting quietly by an open freezer
Watching the news on the ice-screen
With a steaming glass of liquid barium
Cilia at rest, raised up on a pedestal of brass.

For someone life is like this
Frantic at the office pushing data
Into storage media with a prong,
Calling long distance with a wax megaphone
And a long throated warbling tone of voice.

The Aldebaran ladies sing this song dah doo dah doo
The Aldebaran ladies are five million miles long dah doo dah doo day.
Run on quantum drives by night
And on neutron zapper beams by day
Bet my crystal microchips on a easy shot
Threw my round trip ticket away.

Slipping into something greasy for a party
Where all the guests are eligible tetrasaurs
With furred masticating hammocks
And the wealth
Of a despot.

And we are free to go home
First to the sports complexes of Alderbaran
Then to the sweet backstreets of Earth.
First to the fleshpots of the flying cities
Where the flesh is sold disconnected
From its matrices of bone.
First to the idyllic grass banks of Ut
Where the grasses sing you to sleep
And sleeping invade your mind with rash promises of love.

 © BH 1998

I had been looking to post a poem to celebrate the deep physics of the universe. Then I rediscovered this. First read in a darkened planetarium to ususpected audiences towards the end of the last century, it celebrates the diverse sentient life of all the known universe, at least in my own infundibulous mind. There is a tune to the chorus. I sing it sometimes. Privately.


The expressions of the stars,
Too small for smiles
Twinkle in the heartstrings of Heaven

Then the spheres collide
And in colliding merge
Atoms through atoms.
Shells of energy sharing
Momentary electrons
All so unpredictable.
The music of the spheres
Is how the quanta interact,
How the talking cosmos
Whispers above the heat of nothing.
Passing in what was a moment,
In what is a moment,
Or will be,
The body of which we are part
Passes through itself.

A hand through an eye,
A heart beating on a heart.
All substance is empty
But for the atom’s heart
That nucleus of time.

© BH 2000

This belongs in a poem cycle, Initialising, which lives here. It's finished at last after nearly twenty years. Ah well, it's an enduring universe.


The earth, granular,
Flayed of whatever flesh
Clothed it.

Like some blood,
Or a river’s water,
Ran till the season’s end
Where dryness,
Spendthrift time,
Brought night,
Dead of it:
3 AM.