Identification: Adults average 5-6 feet. Live birth. Color varies. Form: Head, trunk, protrusions at shoulders and hips called arms and legs.
Similar Species: Nothing on Homeworld.
Voice: Wide range of inflection, limited hissing.
Range: Entire planet although not naturally aquatic.
Comments: Apex sentient. Exterior covered in skin with patches of hair; no protective scales. Legs restricted to locomotion; useless for sitting, unlike coils. Arms used for carrying and eating, although our mouth tentacles function better for both.
Note: Planet also supports a beautiful creature of sleek and elegant design that can swim, crawl and fly effortlessly. They call it snake.
— Lauren McBride
Lauren McBride finds inspiration in faith, family, nature, science and membership in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA). Nominated for the Best of the Net, Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Asimov’s,Dreams & Nightmares and The Grievous Angel. She enjoys swimming, gardening, baking, reading, writing and knitting scarves for troops.
Editor’s Note: This catalog poem—a field guide of sorts—is symbolized by a Hominoidea lineage tree (Dbachmann) and silhouettes of the evolution of man (clipart max) and a snake (kisspng).
Artist’s impression of the interstellar asteroid `Oumuamua
It was after the passing.
Things began to change.
Slowly at first,
but from that year on
evil yielded to empathy.
No more lying, cheating,
stealing. No more rapes,
murders, massacres, war.
Earth became peaceful.
No one could agree
on how it happened.
But everyone agreed that
the interstellar asteroid
was heaven sent.
Inspired by recent news of the first-ever detected interstellar asteroid, A/2017 U1, officially named Oumuamua.
Lauren McBride finds inspiration in faith, nature, science and membership in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA). Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the SFPA’s Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards, her work has appeared in dozens of publications including recently Eye to the Telescope, Songs of Eretz and the Kepler’s Cowboys anthology. She shares a love of laughter and the ocean with her husband and two grown children.
Editor’s Notes: This interstellar meteor is the first known interstellar object to pass through the Solar System. Discovered through a telescope in Hawaii on October 19, 2017, 40 days after perihelion, Oumuamua, an elongated tumbling object (230 by 35 meters) was 21 million miles from Earth heading back out toward deep space.
Because its shape was reminiscent of an alien spaceship, as in Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novel Rendezvous with Rama, discovered in the story under similar circumstances, it was tentatively named Rama. However, it was named ʻOumuamua, which is translated from Hawaiian as scout or messenger (from ʻou, meaning reach out for, and mua, reduplicated for emphasis, meaning first, in advance of); it reflects the idea that this object is like a messenger sent from the distant past reaching out to us. [Wikipedia].
Listen to a 3-minute documentary from the New York Times:
around noon, the dark
turn yellow and the
gas miners can see
to read outside
for a blissful hour
they switch the lights
on their pressure suits
— Lauren McBride
Lauren McBride finds inspiration in faith, nature, science and membership in the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA). Nominated for the SFPA’s Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous speculative, nature, and children’s publications including Dreams & Nightmares, The Grievous Angel, Songs of Eretz and Star*Line. She shares a love of laughter and the ocean with her husband and two grown children.
Editor’s Notes: This is a timely poem with the recent arrival of the Juno probe in polar orbit around Jupiter. This poem also fits well with the Deborah’s poem, “Persephone,” which reminded me another fairly recent mission to Pluto (Horizon mission). The poem is a speculative extension to the manned missions to those places. Notice the interesting enjambment, especially in the second verse. The image is from a Voyager flyby in the 1979:
“At about 89,000 miles in diameter, Jupiter could swallow 1,000 Earths. It is the largest planet in the solar system and perhaps the most majestic. Vibrant bands of clouds carried by winds that can exceed 400 mph continuously circle the planet’s atmosphere. Such winds sustain spinning anticyclones like the Great Red Spot — a raging storm three and a half times the size of Earth located in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere. In January and February 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft zoomed toward Jupiter, capturing hundreds of images during its approach, including this close-up of swirling clouds around Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. This image was assembled from three black and white negatives. The observations revealed many unique features of the planet that are still being explored to this day.” (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Video and images courtesy of NASA/JPL)