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The Sun, the Moon & the Stars
November 2010
05 May 2012

 
The Sun, Moon and Stars
(Acrostic Poem)

S
pace is full of planets
U
niverse is never ending
N
obody has ever been to Mars

M
oon is near to the stars
O
ver the moon is the dark side
O
n a star I would love to ride
N
eptune is one of the nine planets

S
un helps nature to grow
T
he sunshines at noon
A
stronauts walk on the moon
R
otating around the sun we all go
S
tars shine bright at night

Talia Butchers (aged 12)
(GROW)



 
WHERE THE SUN SHINES

Imagine a beach
where the sand runs dry,
Cliffs rise above
reaching the sky.
The sun drenches all
and sparkles like pearls,
Sunshine and ocean
the mind slowly twirls.

To a country lane
where trees arch and spin,
Under the moonlight
draws one within.
A London child
learning its ways,
I still remember
Evacuee days.

So many changes
I follow my star,
Questions and answers
take me so far.
The road hard to follow
footsteps of mine,
Lead me back homeward
Watch the sun shine.

© SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS




Space Pioneer
3rd November 1957

It was a triumph no one could doubt,
the Soviet Union had put a dog in space,
the US hated it, beaten in the race,
by Laika, a Russian dog.
Communism had crushed capitalism
on the 40th anniversary of the Revolution.

Originally a stray, she’d grown attached
to her white-coated attendants.
Obedient and trusting, the way dogs are,
dependent on her masters
for food and warmth and walks.
Just before her the launch
a scientist took her home to play with his children.

Incredibly an animal was launched
into space to orbit the Earth for the first time.
But in the end Laika was only a dog,
oblivious of the words of her masters
as they brushed her coat and led her out,
for what they knew was as a one-way trip.

She died a panicking prisoner,
packed tight and strapped down,
from overheating and stress,
after five hours in space.
Her coffin circled the Earth 2,570 times,
before breaking up in the atmosphere.

In 2008, a monument was unveiled in Moscow
of a dog standing on top of a rocket.


Derek Smith
Newham Writers Workshop




Sun, moon and stars

Oh I love the sun, the sun the summer days playing on the beach with the kids, and picnics.Any sign of sunshine and we are out worshipping it. water gets splashed over everyone, especially when kids are about. When the summer's over we are always looking out for any glimpse of the sun trying to pop out even when it's cold. 

As the sun goes down and the days turn into night the moon takes the place of the sun in lighting up the nightime sky. Sometimes the moon is full and round and can look huge, It also can look like a thumb nail or crescent shaped.

When you're driving in the car at night and the moon is out it looks like it is following you on your journey, then it disappears behind a hedge or building only to pop out at a later time. Dotted about in the nightime sky are tiny little twinkling stars. They are supposed to form shapes and patterns of zodiac signs but I can never make them out even if they were pointed out to me. Stars are huge planets. Sometimes when an areoplane flies overhead it's lights look like twinkling, moving stars.You can get an eclipse of the moon and sun but never an eclipse of the stars.  I wonder why.


Debbie Feltz
GROW



SIGN OF WINTER

London feels chilled
by impending doom
A pale moon enhanced
in a grey blackened sky.

The garden has froze
a sculpture of ice
Branches like witches
stiffened by age.

No stars in my sky
No sun lights the day
Winter takes hold
And waits for the snow.


©SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS




Cosmic

The sun peeps from behind the white clouds, casting shadows over the ocean.

Evening darkness creeps across the deserted beach.

The water surges forth, dragging the vibrating pebbles down onto the smooth sands.

The velvet night hangs above like a curtain waiting to be drawn.

Waiting patiently to greet the shimmering stars,

A trillion, million atoms illuminate the sheer darkness.

And in the far distance in all her glory, waiting to take centre stage,

She bursts forth, setting the world aglow.


Sue Rabbett
GROW




'The Sun, The Moon & The Stars'

Written at a G.R.O.W. writing group meeting.


Do I want to shine as brightly as the sun? Shed light upon the darkness like the moon or stand out, twinkle and sparkle (however briefly) like a star? Life poses us all that question and aside from destiny, if that is the natural order of things, we are masters of our own direction.

If you choose to be the sun you take on a selfless role. The sun is a provider of light, of energy and of warmth to the earth, it is by definition a giver and to be the sun can be tiring and draining. Suns have to continue burning in even the darkest times of crisis. Suns have to maintain their brilliance, assert their dominance over all and reinforce in those who rely on their warmth the belief that they retain their strength.

To be a moon you also need top be selfless. The moon is the Night Porter of the hotel that is life. In the uncertainty of night, it provides the sole beacon of light with which it is safe to see your way. Demons lurk in the shadows, evil skulks undetected in the darkness and chaos would reign supreme during the dark hours without the moon for the earth would be without its protector.

The moon serves also to remind us of time and its passing. It helps us to focus in on goals and on why urgency in action is important for us to achieve those goals. By altering the shape of its appearance in the  night sky throughout the year the moon helps us to cope with the  harshness of change and provides us with a light of hope that allows us to cope with this.

Those, which choose to be a star, are the most needy people of all. For to be a star one must shine brilliantly, stand out from the crowd, be  innovative and creative. Stars are singular individuals – they are mostly self sufficient, self-indulgent and often self-centered. While they love to entertain and delight us they are driven by ego and have a real need to be accepted and recognized for what they are.

One of the saddest things in life is to witness the death of a star. For, when taken from the limelight for too long, stars fade. The harder and more determined they become to burn brightly once more, the greater  the risk becomes that they shall burn themselves out completely. Even sadder are the stars, which implode upon themselves. Unable to cope with being ignored, such a spectacular end is their only means of returning themselves into our conscientiousness.

Though such tactics often work, by then it is too late for that star to witness how loved and celebrated they still were. Ego comes at a price and fallen stars are likely to pay the ultimate price for their return to the spotlight.

One thing is certain however and that is that whether we are a sun, a moon or a star we all need each other in order to survive and be happy.

We are all of us useful and selfless or selfish we all contribute something to the universal residue that we know as the essence of life.

There is no space in space – just suns, moons and stars.

Antony May 23/11/10
G.R.O.W. and Shorelink Community Writers



Sun, Moon & Stars

I’ve seen the stars dance…

Stepping across the night sky, an erotic tango, glittering sequins catching the eye as the back arches on the great bear

I’ve seen rushes on the lake entwining, pulling each other close in embrace, as they sing to each other and the wind

They say you can see visions of closeness, tenderness, if only you look for it

And I’ve seen the stars dance….

Paul King




New Moon
 
Embryonic moon
Secure in the womb
Of mother sky
Nurtured by the glamour
Of expectant stars
Proudly waiting
Seductive and sultry
Indigo promise

Ashley Jordan
GROW



Wendy's Gulls

The sun shines through plumage
Illuminating the frailty of bones
And strength of enduring spirit
Revelling in the freedom of flight

In my dreams, I fly with her
Sharing, briefly, the joy of her release
Looking down with affection
Upon all she has left behind

Knowing that life, hers and mine and theirs
Goes on, strands linked and merged
Strengthened in a spiral
Like a unicorn's horn, poised, perfect.

So I gather a mantle of feathers
Plucked gently, by unseen hands
Captured in the moment of liberation
Laid to rest, peacefully, at my feet

And high in the sky,
Where the sun always shines
I can hear her laughing with the gulls
Flying towards the light
And leaving the shadows behind.

Ashley Jordan

GROW




Child of Venus

In a crowd she looks so lonely
But alone she seems complete
Balanced on the cutting knife edge
Demons, hurt and anger meet

How she wishes to be wanted
Him to kiss away her pain
Fill the emptiness inside her
Make her feel she's loved again

She whispers secrets to the Moon
Sends her love out to the stars
'Cause she is a child of Venus
Searching for a man from Mars

Ashley Jordan
GROW




Writers’ Block
 
I know not what to write,
Should I write about the sun, moon, stars, the sky…
In of themselves, they intone vastness!
I feel so small, so no I shall not write.
 
I know not what to write,
Shall u write about hate, not really,
About love, not likely,
About anger, unlikely,
About Pain, probably
How about Sorrow, most likely
What of Joy, Unlikely!
 
I think I know what to write,
About pain and sorrow I should write.
And yet I write not of sorrow, nor of pain.
So what shall I write!

Hence, I know not what to write.
Shall I write about the mountains, Grandiose in size,
The oceans, so deep or the sea so vast,
What of the lakes so serene,
The forest so green,
The jungle so dense,
The savannah so lush,
The desert so parched
The canyons so grand
 
All in all I know what to write,
And yet I write not of all I know,
But just the little of all that I know.
For in the little I wrote,
Says a lot about it all!
Encompass the world and its beings I write about,
With just the little of the whole,
And I paint the picture of the whole with just a little of the lot!!!
 
Sheena Gor
(Goodmayes Writers)




THE SEASON OF RAIN - NOVEMBER 2010

Where has the sun gone?
The moon disappears
Clouds open wide and drenches with tears.

Geraniums droop sadly
Covered in leaves
Colours of autumn, London now grieves.

The fuchsia still flourish
Red bells hang low
Midst the green clusters, colours just glow.

This year the flowers
Hang on for life
Bowing their heads beneath autumn strife.

I watch the downpour
Clothed now in wool
Saving on heating, pretending its cool.

No stars in my sky
Just tears on the panes
Soot streaks the roofs, while clogging the drains.

Yet I wouldn’t change
Each season I love
Watching the raindrops fall from above.

© SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS




The Sun, the Moon and the Stars

I love the sun and I love the moon. But the moon is the most important. I lie at night and let the light just flow over me. Oh I love the moon.

I can't look at the sun direct but I can watch the moon for hours. I don't like darkness or having the curtains drawn. I love all forms of light.

Marion Alleyne
GROW




SHOOTING STARS AND ICECREAM


At GROW we were asked to write about the universe. It felt a bit daunting – what did I know about anything, let alone the universe?

I remembered the Mnemonic that was drummed into us at school to help us remember the nine planets of our solar system. My Very Early Made Jam Sandwiches Upset Nauseous People. Not bad after 65 years, I thought.

After research I found I had written four pages of my exercise book. I had written about almost everything in the Universe. Reading over that which was written I came to the conclusion that it was the most boring, high-blown and dry lecture, so it went down the chute.

A few nights later I could not get to sleep. So I did my usual and gave myself a bowl of ice cream. Standing by my glass balcony door I looked out at the starlit night sky. It was about 2.30am. Ice cream tastes better in the early a.m. Then I saw shooting stars, which put me in my mind of UFOs.

Every human who can read knows UFOs and has listened to comments about the people's beliefs that the travellers in the UFOs are far superior to humans.

My mind cogitated about this super intelligence and got to wondering if this was the case what did the star travellers want with nine planets, eight of which are useless to life.

If the UFOs tried to land on any of those eight, what would happen? The eight were ready to incinerate, freeze dry, asphyxiate, poison and blow the UFO to pieces. Would this, I ask myself, be the action of ultra intelligence? I carried on watching the shooting stars and enjoying my ice cream.


Maggie Palmer
GROW




All Stars at the FED!

The moon was still partying
As we left the Sussex coast
The sun’s alarm hadn’t yet rung
Not even time for toast!

Still sleepy but very excited
We trouped aboard the coach
Shared a bright good morning
The day was ours to poach!

The sun woke up slowly
Riding the road to Syracuse
A quiet London greeted us
Clear of traffic queues!

Arrived! Alight! Sign the book
Head downstairs for coffee
A starting grid of revving up
For the annual Grand Prix!

The day it simply raced on by
With workshops, chats and eats
Till time to say – ‘see you next year’
From GROW ‘& oh reserve our seats!’


jan hedger
GROW




Workshop
Room 302 Faraday House
November 6th 2010

London sounds filter
through the open window
the unmistakeable rumble and squeal
of red bus and black cab
and the almost ocean-like roar
of cityfullofpeoplemovingtraffic.

Yet up here we sit circled in
light and peace
music for meditation gently vibrating
loving every cell of my being
every thought and note of consciousness
spreading like a pure white
cloud around a mountaintop.

Sun and Moon and Stars fill my mind’s eye
spinning, sparkling
timeless as forever – yet telling
us of being – here now.

Lucia Birch
Stevenage Survivors




I’VE SEEN HIM

Jack Frost was hiding
In the wind that bit my toes
Curled up tight upon the line
And freezing all my clothes.

I felt him in my fingers
When I couldn’t grip the pegs
Now I know he’s down below
Blowing icicles at my legs.

Jan! you must be kidding
He hasn’t left at all
When the sun came out to play
He was hiding in the hall.

© SALLY FLOOD
Newham Writers Monday Group




Aspire to Dream

Climb the mountain of hope
To reach your cloud of dreams
Traverse the clear blue sky
To tread your chosen path
Shoot as a shooting star
To aspire as to who to be
Do not fall as cold wet rain
That washes away your soul
But drift as pure white snow
Touching lives with your grace
Then shine out as strong as the sun
A reflection upon yourself

jan hedger
GROW




Have you seen Jack Frost?

I think he’s lost
He hasn’t come today
He didn’t come yesterday
Or the day before that.
Is he playing hide and seek?
Behind the curtain of cloud
Should I go and look?
Well, maybe when I’m dressed.
I wonder if he's just,
Sheltering from the rain
I bet he has no umbrella
Silly man, if only he’d asked
He could have borrowed mine!

O...R...!

Has the sun kidnapped him?
Cos’ come to think of it
I haven’t seen him for a week
neither
……

jan hedger
GROW




A LONDON SKY

When I was just a tiny kid
My dreams were very small
I looked upon the rainbow
And thought the sky was tall.

The sun was just an orange ball
That burnt the summer through
I would wear a skimpy swim-suit
A sunhat, plimsolls too.

At night the moon would frighten
As it watched me on my bed
With eyes, a nose and mouth
It filled my mind with dread.

But as I grew, the stars would dance
To tunes I learnt to sing
So many dreams and magic
Romance to life would bring.

Still I love the sky at night
I watch the colours blend
Mauves and golds and reds
A rainbow without end.

© SALLY FLOOD
NEWHAM WRITERS (MONDAY AFTERNOO
N
GROUP)



The Sun, the Moon and the Stars

Mother Moon

is baking moon pies
for her children stars.
"Save some for father,
save some for father,
save some for father."
"Father will get none."

Children are gathering
pie crumbs
and throw them
into the sky.
"They are for you father Sun."
Then hail comes.
Father gets none.


Marie Neumann
POW!




I TOUCH THE SKY


I reached for the stars
my eyes on the moon
so many dreams
I wanted too soon.

The planets had moved
with Jupiter in sight
the weeks became months
days turned to night.

The sun rose and shone
my summers were born
the magic of plants
taught me the norm.

Now in my twilight
nothing has changed
my dreams keep me focused
as stars rearrange.


© SALLY FLOOD
Newham Writers



Ramadan

As the sun is dawning I say my prayers and promise to keep a fast with intention for the Almighty Allah and that He may bless me and forgive my sins. I wouldn’t call myself a devote Muslim but when the month of Ramadan is upon us I try to observe all my prayers and fast each of the 30 days. A spiritual and physical cleanse occurs in which a person is like new at the end. I always surprise myself at how i actually survive without food or drink for so long. Some of the fasts being 17 hours in duration it’s no small feat for a person of my dimensions. ‘Where there is a will there is a way ‘. Humans are after all selfish and the promise of paradise is too good to surpass. One prayer equal to 1000 or more, night prayers  performed will rid you of all your past sins, repent and you shall be forgiven. The gates to hell are shut so there is no excuse of being led astray. I feel humbled, grateful and closer to my fellow observers of Islam. United at one time to open and close the fast, united in prayer. Reading the holy Quran that reminds us of what has past and of what is to come. Thankful that I have so much where others don’t. I say a little prayer to ask God to give everyone equal share.

Ramadan is also a time to not only learn ourselves but to teach the young. By observant my children are taking part in the bases of what I hope will continue for generations. As the sun sets, tears roll down my face as I have my hands turned palmed upwards towards the heavens. Tears for all the recent atrocities are witnessed, tears of repentance, tears of hope, tears of guilt and sorrow, tears of joy and gratitude. I break my fast. 

Zahida Shah
Goodmayes Writers




The Birthday


Today she is one. She is the star!
Her mother, her moon, and her father, her sun,
Put her in the car and they’re off for a run.
They go to a place that they’ve booked for the day.
Her grandparents come to watch their star at play.
But amidst all the pictures of cows, dogs and sheep
She closes her eyes and our star is asleep.
Then when it’s all over the star is awake.
She’s missed all the fun and we’ve eaten the cake.
And there is nothing much more we can do.
She’ll just have to wait until she is two!

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers




All OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

The quest to penetrate the shade of ignorance, that is, the lack of
knowing, has led humanity to seek the light of knowledge everywhere, far and wide. And now at last the depths of space.

The deep space exploration vessel Stephen Hawking was decelerating, spinning down from c-plus for intra-solar insertion. The goal was to be half-light by the time they reached solar space. Plus light travel was forbidden in-system, accelerating or decelerating. This made for slow laborious climbs out system and hair raising braking maneuvers coming in. They were descending several degrees above the elliptic plane and were green light all the way for destination speed by the time they reached the plane.

Captain Smith waited on the pilot. They had leveled off and were on course and speed. “Sing it out Mr. Johns.”

The pilot seemed startled. “Green light, destination speed. On course, planet IV. Everything five by, Captain.”

“Very good, Mr. Johns. How long have you been with us now?”

“Long enough, Sir.” Lt. Johns replied properly chaste.

Smith let it ride. “Navigation. How long till planetary orbit?”

“Six hours, thirty three minutes, Sir.”

 “All right, someone inform the prima donnas.”

No one on the bridge crew smiled or acknowledged the remark. It was not an in-joke but the captain venting. It was something never to be repeated in the presence of the two scientists who were their cargo and their mission.

The Stephen Hawking’s mission was simple: explore all discovered planets for the possibility of life. It was officially the Genesis Expedition; or less formally, in the bars and clubs frequented by flight crews, Noah’s Ark II or the God Trip. There were those who believed that finding life out here among the stars would be proof of a divine plan and design. If life on Earth were not a singular freak accident, that would prove the existence of divine providence. It was the polar opposite of the view held ten centuries earlier.

Communications notified the scientists. They replied according to their natures.

“Very well,” Dr. Wingate replied, “tell the Captain to hold at an equatorial orbit.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“Thank you for informing me.” Dr. Deakins answered. “Six hours? Couldn’t you have waited till we were closer?”

Captain Smith clenched his jaw. Their cargo was scientists of two opposing views. Each with a personal mandate to fulfill their vision of the universe. Three centuries earlier, to avoid civil war, it was decided that diversity through duality was the best course of action. Some course, some action. At least, that was, until some proof; some evidence could be found to prove one thesis or the other. Whichever side gained the upper hand would then dominate science and politics and, presumably, society.

The Creationists and Darwinists had been at each other’s throats that long and longer. And still nothing had manifested to break the stalemate. Exploration of the planets and moons in Sol system had been a bust.

“I’ll be in my quarters. Call me a half hour before our team is ready. Bridge is yours Mr. Johns.”

“Aye, Sir.”

He walked through the narrow bulkheads feet humming with the deck. The deuterium drive engines had taken in smooth after the relinquishment of the warp drive. The Hawking herself was one of a kind, but not for long. The first warp capable ship was based on the theories of Mexican physicist Michael Alcubierre. The Alcubierre system was affectionately called the Alcubby drive. You could always tell how green a new crewman was when he asked, “Who’s Al Cubby?”

In profile, she was long and slender with a sphere four times her height three quarters of the way aft. This housed the stacked particle accelerators which created the microscopic black holes used in the process. These caused the contraction/dilation of spacetime fore and aft that the Hawking rode like a wave. Aft of the sphere a cluster of blisters housed the much more standard thrust deuterium drive engines. To create a simulacrum of gravity she spun upon her axis, an arrow shot into the heart of darkness. She was beauty and grace and power personified. Smith was extremely proud to command her.

Five hours later, Smith received the called to the bridge. The two tenors, as he sometimes thought of them, had decided to show early. They wanted to watch the orbital insertion.

“Nice of you to join us, Captain.” Wingate huffed.

“Sleeping in, huh?” Deakins queried with a sly smile.

Captain Smith smiled wanly. “The affairs of command are at my discretion, gentleman.” He said mildly. “Please take your seats and strap in securely. This will be the same as the previous two insertions.”

“Perhaps there will be some drama this time.” Deakins said perniciously.

“Let’s hope not.”

They still had some velocity to shed, and this would be accomplished by maneuvering steep into the planets gravitational field and then leveling off abruptly. It made for a rough ride with stomach dropping effects. The sudden gravitational lurch at the end caused a swimming disorientation right in the center of your forehead, the bed spinning when you’re drunk.

The ship maneuvered into equatorial orbit without any problems; Smith watched the two scientists at their computer. They were preparing to launch the first of several probes into the atmosphere, onto the surface of Corbit Tau IV. The planet had a thick, primordial atmosphere, extremes of hot and cold and rampaging storms. He and the crew would have little to do for the next six months, as the surface was gone over microscopically with a very fine tooth comb indeed.

Looking at the two of them, he knew you could never confuse which was left and which was right. Wingate was tall neat upright austere. He was decisive and often derisive. He gave orders (even when not entitled to) with the certainty of an Old Testament prophet. Deakins was short, unkempt, dumpy, with a cynical, nearly contemptuous, attitude toward all things unproven which Smith had always thought an odd attitude for a scientist.

As the divas began the standard bickering, Smith called his men to the conference room. Also, the mess hall, the rec room and just about everybody’s office space. He began going over the new duty rosters, posting and static assignments for the next six months.

“Everybody knows their jobs. If you are not directly involved in the scientific aspects of our stay, then there are maintenance duties to attend. Make sure everyone follows the physical routines for extended stays space side. No one gets out of shape.”

He looked around the room. “Any questions?” There were none. “Ok. This
is our third stop; so everyone knows the drill. Let’s keep it as uneventful as the other two.”

“Aye, Sir!” They said as one. They were a good crew. He knew everything would be kept ship shape and Bristol fashion; if only to keep their minds off what awaited them back to home. Like the sailing voyages upon the seas of Earth so long ago; these were long, long trips through sheer immensity and distance, ignorance of what lay beyond the veil of darkness. Even with the warp drive, no one they knew would be waiting for them when they got back home. This was the sharp edge hidden in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Coming here they had passed a spot of space which had afforded them, through the ships telescope, a clear view of the superheated columns of gas first seen by the Hubble telescope three centuries earlier. The Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula some 7,000 light years beyond. The shrinking of the gas clouds, these star cradles, giving birth to entire systems. They had all stood on the bridge in wide, silent wonder at the sheer magnitude and the realistic improbability of them. Wingate and Deakins had ruined it of course by bickering and by categorizing and analyzing all its parts and parcels the scanners showed them. Breaking it down to basic parts, which somehow, when added up again, was less than the whole of its majesty.

“Incredible.” Wingate breathed reverently, seeming on the verge of relenting the argument for a time. “That such a thing should ever come to pass.”

“Yes,” Deakins said, “perhaps its miraculous interposition.” Smiled acidly.

Wingate looked at him sharp and hard. “Yes,” he said, “perhaps it is.”

And that was it. They were at it again.

The planet hung off the port side, glided through space, they with it, turned on its axis, they with it, made its annual pilgrimage around its sun, and they went with it. They were 100 light years from home. 600 trillion miles; when you thought of it like that it was like a punch in the stomach. It was best to keep it small and tight and under control.
All that velvet black distance of the void, which was not empty, would make you freeze. The planet hurled through spacetime, and they hurled with it. A speck of dust in a sun drenched mote. Flotsam and jetsam tossed to and fro upon the waves of spacetime. Inside the ship, their bodies metabolized foods; their lungs absorbed oxygen; they slept and shed fatigue toxins. They dreamed.

They dreamed each to their own accord and their own hearts and their own desires. Their synapses fired; short-term memories were processed to the hippocampus. Their dreams were full of notions, ideas, hopes and fears, love and hate all greater than the sum of their parts.

There were several injuries, all minor; slipped wrench abrasions, hot conduit burns, bumps, bruises from low portals and narrow bulkheads. Tissue healed renewed re-knit itself. Their bodies produced new cells, shed the old.

Corbit Tau 7a continued to burn hydrogen, compress it actually, under tremendous pressures, into helium, radiated its energy outward warmingly. It revolved, its six planets followed, couturiers on its elliptic plane, the moons the squires of their planets.

The ship, much like its own designer and creator, internalized and externalized, breathed for them, inhaled carbon dioxide, exhaled oxygen nitrogen mix. It processed fuel, used it for energy. It dreamed as well in its own way, the constant processing and correlating of data from sensors and monitors both internal and external to itself. Not a true, conscious entity, and still like unto its creators it had its own life, purpose, fate and destiny.

The sensor sweeps continued. The ship’s orbital course corrected to get each and every corner and quadrant of the planet’s surface. The crew was bored but not edgy. They were disciplined and focused. They did not indulge in the petty squabbles of the two scientists. The entire crew had been picked based on their psychological, nearly pathological, apathy toward political skews. They were all emotionally stolid rationalists. The moderates of common sense, those not easily riled or ranted into reactionary stances, the very fabric of any true and virtuous society. They had been neglected for nearly three centuries.
Even this did not seem to rouse either ire or angst. They were content to wait, not to force. Their time must surely come.

The prima donna's continued at it. They got on Smith’s nerves something
terrible. It was all well and good for the crew. They did not have to deal with them too directly did not have to moderate their rhetoric and debates, some very near brawls. A few weeks earlier he had been talking to Wingate in the conference room. The scientists were not allowed to proselytize to the crew. But they both needed someone to preach to which
of course left Smith. Wingate was telling him a story from his childhood.

“I remember the pastor saying, ‘and then the clouds parted, a light shone forth upon him and the heavens spoke.’ I wish it were that simple now. What do you suppose ever became of miracles Captain Smith?”

Smith shrugged, remaining noncommittal. Deakins entered hearing the tail
end of Wingate’s comment. His face contorted in disgust.

“Still seeking the Creator amid the chaos? As if Darwinist theory hasn’t disproven the direct, or otherwise, involvement of a ‘higher being.” He said this last in a voice quavering rising in contempt. “I suppose you think the world is only 4,000 years old as well?”

“I am not a Young Earth Creationist, and you know it. Interpretation of scripture through divine accommodation has allowed us to see the goodness of God more clearly in the natural world. Remember, understanding how the watch works does not preclude the existence of a
watchmaker.”

“Huh! Newton was one of us!” He looked at Smith. “Lions, bears and even
some primates will kill the offspring when they take over an area; to bring the females into estrus. Do you suppose God is good then? Gentle loving Creator?”

“All I know,” Smith allowed, “is that life is often beautiful and grotesque at the same time. I had gotten the impression that was what made it so profound.”

Deakins harrumphed again. From there he went onto the evils perpetrated
by organized religion historically. Wingate to ‘through the glass darkly,’ the nature of good and evil.

Smith did not like Deakins. He was a rabid, fanatical man as bad as any bible thumper. There were many on the Creationist side just as destructive. Wingate was not one of them. Deakins wanted science to dominate in the same way that religion had and Smith could not tell the difference. The evils perpetrated by religion, in his opinion, which he kept to himself, arose not from any flaw in a particular religion per se. But from the willingness of human nature to corrupt to their own ends. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And at least religion offered
hope. Deakins vision of a bleak universe where people were ruled solely
by animal instinct and cruel, indifferent nature was a lousy plan to run things on. Smith thought people already had an intuitive unspoken grasp of this fact, and that was where the corruption came from in the first place. Power without a counterbalance was a truly terrifying proposition. All things, forces and dynamics, must seek equilibrium. That was structure over chaos. He kept all this to himself. It would have done no good to speak it aloud. Some aspect of it or another would only offend one and both of them together.

He left them to their debate of good and evil and instinct, divine, moral purpose and phyletic gradualism. He had heard it all before. It was all the same.

Well, he thought, sitting in the command chair on the bridge, doing reports and trying vainly to ignore their constant bickering, I wonder if I could put them overboard? There had been a time. He could have hung them from the yard arm. Yeah, so much for master and commander.

Then at last, and finally, it was done. Every last trace and nuance of the planet’s surface probed and scanned analyzed and recorded.

“Well it’s finished.” Wingate said. He turned to Smith exhaustion and disappointment showed on his face.

 “Yes,” said Deakins. His sense of secular superiority seemed always to grow in direct proportion to Wingate’s disappointment. Cause and effect, Smith conjectured, for every reaction…

“What was there to find?” He already knew the answer.

“Nothing notable,” Wingate said, “some complex organically occurring proteins nothing more.”

“Yes,” said Deakins, “nothing even remotely complex as early bacteria.”

His tone of voice his demeanor was maliciously gleeful. Smith wondered at it. I suppose he takes more pleasure from demeaning the beliefs of others then in the act of discovery itself.

“I’m sorry to hear that. I suppose we should set course onto the next system? Gentleman, you concur?”

“Yes, Captain.” Wingate had a far look a look of doubt.

“Yes, we may as well,” Deakins said. He had calmed considerably, his moment of dubious victory now a thing of the past.

“All right. Mr. Johns! Set course for out-system. Begin our ascent above the elliptic.”

 “Aye, Captain!”

“I suppose someday…” Wingate started.

Smith watched his helmsman. His fingers flying over the controls.

“What’s that?” Deakins asked, not unkindly.

Smith did not attend the conversation. He watched the endless stars in the infinite universe change position, shine and glow their eternal light upon the projection screen, as they moved above the elliptic. The two eternal forms of the universe, the disc and the sphere, and then at last the disc again, played out the passion of birth and life and death eternally somewhere out there in that vast field of light and darkness.

“That someday, out here, we will find the miracle of life.”

Smith watched his helmsman. The smooth flow of his hands, the flick of his eyes to screens and displays, telling him all he needed to know. You could see his mind moving analyzing, not ratcheting, flowing. He was one and all with his actions, his thoughts and his ship. A work of wonder. Maybe someday, he thought.

The ship continued its slow laborious ascent into the eternal light and darkness.

Thomas Ritchie
POW




High in the Sky!

The poem what started it all off in 2001!

The moon that shines so bright, bright, bright
The stars that shine at night, night, night
The moon and the stars came out to play
They played away till the break of day
The sun, the sun, the glorious sun
Came along to join in the fun
But the moon and the stars away they fled
Time for sleep time for bed

Jan Hedger
GROW





COMMENTS

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Cheers to all for your entries - you are all STARS!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: I shall almost be sad when this month finishes, The challenge has been well risen to! But we must seek a new frontier for December!
Sally good to see you so inspired! Where the sun shines!
Derek - my thank you for the extra challenge of a 'darker' entry to the challenge, with your well written piece, I don't need to say anymore, your poem says it all.

Your Name: Ashley Jordan
Your Comment: I just wanted to say how much how I have enjoyed reading all the submissions this month.  I'd particularly like to thank Jan Hedger for leaving so many positive and encouraging comments for everyone - and of course for giving us all such a wonderful challenge to rise to :-)

Your Name: Andrew Diamond
Your Comment: Nice to see that you've gone into print Sheena. The first of many, I hope.

Your Name: SALLY FLOOD
Your Comment: I loved Sue Rabbets Cosmic, it lit upthe sky for me, this has become my favourite site of all.

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Very evocative Sue!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Tony, my dear friend - an amazing analogy!
What shook me to the core was the 'star'
You have described the characteristics, of someone close to me - that how real your writing is.

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Wow Paul - goose bumps the size of mole hills!
Ash - you never fail to uplift me with your writing!
Writers block - clever and witty!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Good stuff Maggie & Marion!!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Ha Sally - I asked where Jack was hiding 6 years ago now and you are the first one to discover his secret!Canny lass you are!
I love your reply! xx

Your Name: SALLY FLOOD
Your Comment: Thank you Jan, you always make me feel good, I
think all the work by everyone is outstanding and should at some time be
put into an anthology that everyone can enjoy,it is wonderful to be
challenged? and better to respond, look forward to reading your response
luv sally

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: You are a star yourself Sally! With no end to your talent!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Marie a new nursery rhyme ; how wonderfully super!

Your Name: zahida shah
Your Comment: thankyou Jan and Andrew,for your positive comments.It encourages me even more to participate in future.

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Knew that was yours Sally! Bless you, it's lovely! Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday! xx
 
Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Hi Zahida! Thank you for your interesting contribution! It was a lovely lady called Zahida, that 'insisted' I write the two poems (I wrote for her children) down on paper. That was in 2001 and I haven't looked back! High in the Sky was one of those two!
When I 'nursed' one of her daughters, on night shift - I used to have to phone her, to wake her, to prepare food before sunrise, during Ramadan - so your story bought back happy memories, thank you.

Your Name: Andrew Diamond
Your Comment: A powerful piece Zahida, showing how religious observance can reinforce our humanity.

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Thanks Andrew! My new job is 'swallowing' my time and energy - hope I have time to write more myself! Thanks for your contribution, ahh bless, chuckle!

Your Name: Andrew Diamond
Your Comment: A great topic Jan presenting a real challenge to the imagination!

Your Name: jan hedger
Your Comment: Hey, our own Federation! Watch out trekkies Captain Richie is right behind you!


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