Monday, January 24, 2011

Science Poems for January 2011: 24

Last April I posted a science sonnet a day in celebration of National Poetry Month (index with links here). This month I am posting a science poem a day, written in various traditional forms, in honor of Science Online 2011.

The "fifth annual international meeting on Science and the Web" ran from Jan. 13-16. Click on the logo below to access the conference page, which has links to posts, tweets, photos, and videos from the event.

As with the sonnets, my January poems take their cues from science-based articles. I also have two works in a special science poem section (vol. 33 #5/6) of Star*Line, journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read my "Ciliate Sestina" here.

Also, two sonnets from last April's collection, "In Development" and "Manipulations," have made it into Open Laboratory 2010 Click on the badge below for links to the 50 essays, 6 poems, and 1 cartoon in the collection.

(Click here to see Andrea Kuszewski's gorgeous cover!)

Today's poem takes its cue from "Laser Propulsion Could Beam Rockets into Space" (Prachi Patel, Astrobiology Magazine, Jan. 21, 2011). Click on the article link to learn more about the research. To learn more about the traditional poetic structure used, click on the form name.

Beaming Up
(with a nod toward Geoffrey A. Landis)
(Form: Rhupunt)

Liftoff we have!
The rockets calve,
Escaping grav.
But oh, the weight.

The mix of fuel
Creates a duel
Of thrust and pull:
A payload's fate.

To carry more
Beyond Earth's floor,
We'll have to store
Less juice aboard.

Now microwaves
And lasers may
Create that day
We're striving toward.

A beam transmits
Its thermal glitz.
Momentum flits
From gyrotrons.

And vast arrays
Can form relays,
With cargo bays
Enlarged upon.

Space tourists might
Explore the night
As laser light
Propels them high.

Their launchers, sound,
Stay on the ground
And leave unbound
Their will to fly.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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