Sunday, April 26, 2015

Michael Ceraolo- Two Poems

Bring It On Home to Me

Our Terran forebears called our star
Kepler 186
only their sun could be called The Sun;
we will do our best to avoid
such mistakes in naming),
                                              as of
the time of the Calamitous Changes,
called our home planet Kepler 186f

           Kepler was a telescope
launched early in the third millennium,
one that greatly aided our ancestors
in discovering distant stars near and far
that might have had habitable planet
in orbit around them,
also aided our ancestors
in discovering such planets,
they provided the crucial first step
on the journey to us,
                                a fact
we will never forget,
                             nor forget to commemorate
We have no record from the time saying
whether or not Kepler was alive at the time,
whether the telescopes of that time
were alive at any time]

We don't know if any data devices
remain back on Terra,
on any other body,
if any creatures who retain data
remain anywhere either
(we remain hopeful of receiving
communications from others),
here are some facts about our planet,
starting with how it got its name:

there was nothing inherently wrong
about the names given our star and planet
by our Terran ancestors,
it wasn't quite right for us;
in the tradition of creatures everywhere,
prefer our own names for things
as an homage to the Terrans
we named our star Voltairine
after Voltairine de Cleyre,
a late-second-millenium
political philosopher,
named our planet Warren
after Josiah Warren,
an earlier late-second-millenium
Renaissance individual

It takes one hundred thirty Terran days
to complete a Warren year;
because Warren has the requisite magnetic field
and is just far enough from Voltairine
not to be tidally locked,
                                    we also have days,
days of sixteen hours' duration
so that it takes one hundred ninety-five
Warren days to make a Warren year
(we knew ahead of time of the shorter day,
on the long journey here our ancestors
simulated the shorter day successfully,
by the time of our arrival here
we had evolved to incorporate
the new day into our circadian rhythm)

Voltairine's light was about one-third of that
reaching Terra from its sun,
one might reasonably have thought
the fact that Warren was only about
one-third as far from Voltairine
as Terra was from its sun
would have produced a climate
similar to that of Terra,
such a mathematical formula
didn't quite translate climate-wise

[an untitled poem penned by a pioneer poet
about the first sunset witnessed on Warren:

One planet's crepuscular light
is another planet's high noon
And the colors of a long slow setting
differ from those of an hour's setting,
differ in getting here quicker,
differ from those in different atmospheres,
differ from those refracted by different chemicals
though we will need different words and images
to depict the picture properly,
we had to try to depict it indirectly
while working on creating the necessary new words]

Because Warren is about ten percent larger
and of a similar density as Earth,
we knew there would be increased gravity,
that that increased gravity couldn't quite
be simulated on the voyage here,
it was challenging for us at first,
but we adapted and overcame

And we set about
learning the natural history of Warren,
learning the vagaries of different climates and terrains,
learning how to set up the small societal organization
we considered a necessary evil,
                                               all while
learning the necessary things for the daily business of life
on our new home,
creating a new species:
                                    Homo anti-imperii

Mobservation #11

The toughest thing to get used to
was to learn to disregard 
planetary averages
in favor of local variations,
just as it undoubtedly too
the first Earth settlers by surprise
when they faced the fact that
the planetary average temperature
of fifty-eight degrees Fahrenheit
existed nowhere on the planet

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