Sunday, July 10, 2022

The Comet

Back in 1986, when Halley's Comet shot past the Earth, a newspaper organised a poetry writing contest to commemorate the event. The first prize was a telescope (a Baush & Lomb Cassegrain reflector), which I thought was cool at that time. Hey, the poem that I wrote won that scope. Tell me that it's good. 😁

photo by dsnake1 (that's the telescope I won)

The Comet

Like clockwork, you returned from an endless celestial journey
And we, on this fragile planet, itself hurtling,
we wonder, we dread, we marvel

what you really are, a heart of ice, gas and dust?
Did tyranosaurus rex snarl at you on a visit to primeval Earth?
Or were you making your pilgrimage since the Sun's birth?

       Did you bring about Hastings?
       Did you fell the Qing?

And we, with our computers, our lasers, still call you a stranger,
Like a puzzle, you fascinate us, the ancient and the young.
You'll still do, in Twenty-sixty-one.


Maybe twice in a lifetime

Scientific American - Halley's Comet changed humanity. This is how.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2022

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Blogger Helen said...

A resounding YES YES this is quite good! 2061, I cannot imagine.

10 July, 2022 03:03  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Not my lifetime, alas. And I didn't even see it for myself the first time – too far to go to where the telescope was set up for the public, for harassed, busy parents of young kids; we couldn't summon the energy. A lasting regret.

Your poem is beautiful. Congratulations on the well-deserved win!

And I am so grateful to you for posting that link, also.

10 July, 2022 06:10  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
2061, i guess i won't be seeing it again. :(


Thank you!
The narrative on the Scientific American post is so poetic. :)

10 July, 2022 12:27  
Blogger Sreeja said...

very interesting...!

11 July, 2022 10:47  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Sreeja! :)

11 July, 2022 14:16  
Blogger magiceye said...

Well deserved!

11 July, 2022 21:28  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, magiceye! :)

11 July, 2022 23:18  
Blogger R's Rue said...

Congrats. Well deserved.

12 July, 2022 00:48  
Blogger J M Beames said...

Maybe in 2061, some astronaut will greet it personally?
Congratulations on winning!

12 July, 2022 03:48  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

R's Rue,

Thank you! :)
(Somehow your comment appears in my spam folder. It's happening quite frequently recently, comments going to the spam folder.)

J M Beames,

Thank you!
I have no doubt that can happen. Already, unmanned probes have intercepted it. :)

12 July, 2022 22:23  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

I really like the point of view and perspective. They leave me wanting to read the comet's reply.

Congrats on the win!

14 July, 2022 02:42  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Magaly!

Yes, if only the comet could reply! What great events it had witnessed.
I wrote the poem on a whim. I typed it on a typewriter, put the page in an envelope and sent it via snail mail. I realised after that that I could write some poetry. You should see the bewilderment on my colleagues' faces after they read about it in the papers. :)

14 July, 2022 22:09  
Blogger said...

I can see why you won. Fascinating poem.

17 July, 2022 09:09  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, purplepeninportland. :)

17 July, 2022 10:18  

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