Haiku: Asteroid

planet earth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s silly season
An asteroid is coming
but where would it land?

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Poem: Terrorform

brown and black crater

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

From the first day let us start to terraform Mars,
make oceans from melting ice caps

and rivers run red through the rusty soil.
Day two let’s release plankton into the sea,

let out vast shoals of fish to feed on them
and steely predators to feast on the fish.

Day three we’ll throw spores into the sparse air
and watch the forests grow, the trees

stretch high up the slopes of Olympus Mons.
Day four let’s release mammals, birds

and other fauna into the forests and fields,
to watch them gorge on the goodness

of the land, enjoy the clarity of the sky.
Then on day five we’ll take ourselves

to the former red planet, to become
the feared Martians we thought were there.

Day six let us wage glorious, total war
among ourselves, make the rivers run red

in the name of the god who named this place.
And day seven let us rest, exhausted by labour

and lust, to examine our new abomination
from the safety of space’s vacuum,

in orbit with Phobos and Demos
without fear or dread of another first day.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019 and 2011

Amerigo Vespucci – What’s in a Name?

Portrait_of_Amerigo_Vespucci

By Officially unknown (poss. Cristofano dell’Altissimo) – Uffizi, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18157134

We owe Italy quite a lot really, don’t we?

Pizza, pasta, risotto, fine wine, passion, flair, fashion style, not to mention the Romans (and yes, what did they ever do for us?) to name but a few. These are things our lives would be far less rich without.

Well, some say it was around this day in history, May 10 or 11, when someone else Italian set sail on a voyage to what we now term ‘the New World’, namely Amerigo Vespucci.

Born in Florence in 1454, Vespucci is famous for debunking Columbus’ notion that the West Indies and Brazil were in fact the other side of the world, actually the easternmost parts of Asia.

In other words, he envisioned the new discoveries as a completely new, separate landmass from Asia. Originally termed the New World, what the new continent lacked was a proper name. Step up Amerigo Vespucci once again, whose latinised Christian name reads as ‘Americus’.

It was only a small step from there to someone suggesting that this huge piece of earth should be called after him, but with a feminine ending – America – and why not? Are we still grateful to him and Italy?

PS. Of course, we know now that the Vikings founded what they termed ‘Vinland’ in what is now the north eastern seaboard of North America centuries before Columbus, but that’s another story…

Poem ‘Sea Wall’

The Wash, as seen looking west from Heacham, i...

The Wash, as seen looking west from Heacham, in Norfolk, just south of Hunstanton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sea Wall

Stand and look from here,
you can see the earth’s curve,
a sea-levelled land
bereft of its mother.

Shells we have found
while the silt blew away,
powdered by droughts
and the pitiless wind.

Stand here with me
at the high spring tide—
you know the stark sea
will swell all over this again

poem © copyright df barker 2012

Poem ‘Ways Out’

Ways Out

During those darker days
while Dad dug the earth,
I would stand with him
and dream of the sky,
that it might send an angel
in a shining silver disk
to whisk me away
to some fantastic world,
as far away as possible
from that featureless place

Once my dreams were done
each mournful Sunday night,
that was when I’d watch him
sitting hunched before
his old bespoke radios,
yellow fingers twisting knobs
while turning his ear
to strange sideband sounds,
smirking to Southern drawl charm
engaging cool Transvaal

I knew it was his way out,
released and briefly lost
among the wild waves,
bringing some colour to his world
before I’d hear the clock wind up,
the curtains being drawn

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Poems: Haikus— ‘Changes’

Haikus— ‘Changes’

step back little life
faces change though streets remain
cross with no regrets

spring’s hushed voice in trees
snow lingers on in furrows
earth unbends to light

poems and photograph © copyright dfbarker 2012