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NaPoWriMo 2020 April 1, 2020

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, poetry.
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Like many others this year, I am working from home. Maybe I’ll have time for some blog updates, or poetry. I won’t promise to write one every day, but we’ll see how many I do get out.

You may regret following me.

Here’s a limerick to kick things off. Limericks are always an excellent choice.

This verse is neither, I fear
Particularly clever or clear
But as poetry goes
It certainly shows
You couldn’t do worse than start here. 

Best Work March 14, 2016

Posted by aquillam in poetry.
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Late at night
I lie in bed

Best work 

on comets that fail to live up to expectations June 11, 2013

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, poetry.
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English: This color photograph of the comet Ko...

English: This color photograph of the comet Kohoutek (C/1973 E1) was taken by members of the lunar and planetary laboratory photographic team from the University of Arizona, at the Catalina observatory with a 35mm camera on January 11, 1974. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you pay much attention to amateur astronomy, you’ve undoubtedly heard of comet ISON. Last fall, it was getting press as the “comet of the century”, despite the fact that it was still a year from perihelion.

Yesterday on my internet wanderings I came across an article that said ISON is already falling well below predicted brightness values, and I thought of comet Kohoutek, the infamous non-event of 1973.

Today I am looking for a good quote or poem for an activity on finding exoplanets, and I stumbled upon The planets : a cosmic pastoral by Diane Ackerman, which includes  “The Other Night (Comet Kohoutek)”. It is not what I need, but it needed to be shared.  Here is the first stanza.

Last night, while
cabbage stuffed with
brown sugar, meat and
raisins was baking in the
oven, and my potted holly,
dying leafmeal from red-spider,
basked in its antidote malathion,
I stepped outside to watch Kohoutek
passing its dromedary core through the
eye of a galaxy. But only found a white
blur cat-napping under Venus: gauzy, dis-
solute, and bobtailed as a Manx.

An invitation February 21, 2013

Posted by aquillam in poetry, writing.
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Because today I keep thinking it is Friday, and it is almost time to go home, that it has been a long busy week, and that I want to go home, curl up on the couch, and stare at a good book (I’m too tired to actually read it.)

I’m not actually very fond of the smell of Geranium, but I had one on the kitchen windowsill in college, so it is a scent I came to associate with that lull in the day that (hopefully) falls between the end of work/class and the start of evening tasks. I’m pretty sure the armchair enjoys that lull too.


Sit Down.
Place your feet between my feet.
Lay your arms along my arms.
Rest your head on my back. 
Sink into my cushions.
Close your eyes 
and breath 
the scent of geraniums 
warmed by the light 
of the setting Sun.