Discussion Board

Topic: Petitioning SETI

From: Cecilia Vail Hampton
Location: Ca.
Date: 01/21/2008

Dear Mr. Bear,
Here is my poem "Petitioning SETI" which won honorable mention at Cedar Hill Press in their recent contest. I hope you enjoy it. I also have two poems regarding Mars and the probes Spirit and Opportunity. I will send them too, but did not want to do it all in one huge email.


Petitioning SETI

Speak to me asterismically
of constellation subsets
of the cosmic thirty seven
and the answer: forty two.
Tell me tales of the galactic plane
of star clusters in light years
from telescopic visions true
swaddled among interstellar clouds
birthing stars
nursed to youth
and why we ride the gravitational tide
between suns,
stars and moons
to Alpha Leo and Monoceros
on stellar winds to the Subaru.
Searching always
the universal truth.
Reality turns on little things
delicately natured time
and depths of space
gravitational pull
on all of us in every race
Sing of dusty nebulae in galaxies
darkened lanes on elliptic planes;
galactic roads where SETI listens
as radios
play the songs of the stars...

By Cecilia Vail Hampton
December 12, 2006

Re: Petitioning SETI

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/22/2008

A lovely poem, Cecilia. Thanks!

Opportunity On Mars

From: Cecilia Vail Hampton
Location: California
Date: 03/06/2008

Dear Mr. Bear,

This is one of the poems I hoped to have you read. I am truly waiting and hoping for those next two books about Mars! I have read many of your books, and feel a great deal of respect toward you as a writer.


Opportunity On Mars

Went to Erebus, Sunday noon
picked blueberries under two moons.
Phoebos and Deimos shining down,
strange moonlight on stranger ground.
Smaller than marbles these unusual rocks,
accreting amid the dampened blocks.
Martian stones among the razorbacks,
blueberries in heaps, piles, stacks.
Drifting sand where I roam, on Mars
in Erebus, so far from home.
Trundling round and taking stock
of every outcropping, rift and pock.
Sending photos of the sky,
of berry bowls, and lakes gone dry,
amusement for a billion eyes.
With all the dunes like candy kisses
among the berries, winds and fissures;
concretions, yes, to analyze
but, as yet, no signs of life.
No Martian men to eat fruit pie.
No Martian babies to grow up right.
Martian mamas dont exist.
No plants, no animals, no cities in the midst.
I fear its just as the scientists said,
No life on Mars, all is dead.
So, the ships of Man will rise,
come to Mars and colonize.

Cecilia Vail Hampton (2006)

Re: Spirit Of Pink

From: Cecilia Hampton
Date: 05/11/2008

Spirit of Pink

The Mars you see, now,
its not red,
to the human eye
its pink instead!
Mounting up
like one called Eve-Rest
or Zhumulangma, Nepals best
some amazing panorama
pink peaks, pink plains
pink Goddess Qomolangma
A Martian mountain in this location
needs a proper appellation!
No, not Appalachian...
No Mauna Kea, no Chimborazo
though its pink, its still macho
standing next to Husband Hill
Given a name nonpareil
and full of drama
to be dubbed forever
The Eve-Rest Panorama.

January 2006

Re: Spirit Of Pink

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/12/2008

Wonderful! We're starting our own poetry slam here! Anybody else want to contribute poems on themes astronomical?

Invitation Withdrawn

From: Cecilia Hampton
Location: Copperopolis
Date: 05/31/2008

Twenty-eight unknowns,
Others might call home
planets deep inside our galaxy
beyond the distant stars.

We posit there are people
there with hopes and dreams
on planets just like ours.

Similar suns ruling solar systems,
and planets like our Earth
are not so very rare, in orbitsᅠ
elongated, day after frozen day.
Life may not occur so readily
on such intemperate ground.

Earthlike homes must occur
with a rocky core and watery envelope
Life, we are promised, is assured

but wary of effects
of our communications
Stephen Hawking warns us,
in level electronic tones:

"Beware the highly advanced alien,
let him stay wherever he may roam
using prescient caution
dont invite him home."

Invitation Withdrawn

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/31/2008

These definitely need to be gathered into a book, Cecilia! They're all top-notch works. And poetry about scientific themes is very rare indeed. I remember science-related poems by John Updike; any other recommendations?

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