The Ballad of Apollo

To commemorate the anniversary of the first lunar landing, 21 July 1969

Apollo 11 Saturn V on launch pad 39A, 1 July 1969. NASA Photo.

We recall history came,
Launched upon Apollo’s flame.
Footsteps on a dusty world
– dreams unfurled –
We all yearned for adventure and acclaim.

Ponder the world’s pride and glee,
Watching astronauts float free.
How we longed to share with them
and we did, they went there, they were we.

Nurture your dreams well,
Love them and let them thrive.
It’s only when our dreams take off
That we are truly alive.

Aldrin poses for portrait (NASA Photo AS11-40-5903)

In the depths of history,
We can forge a destiny.
Striving to make stellar views
– or fake news –
Is a choice amidst life’s mystery.

Travellers all through space and time,
Our birthright, our aim, our climb.
We see change as the right stuff
– Not enough! –
Let’s create alternate worlds sublime.

Nurture your dreams well,
Love them and let them thrive.
It’s only when our dreams take off
That we are truly alive.

Apollo 11 lunar footprint (NASA photo)

Our future is not consigned,
No matter how paths may wind.
We each have a part to play
– on the way –
Our small steps form a leap when combined.

In our reflected moonbeams,
History, Science, Academes.
Standing tall or voicing loud
– Just be proud –
And be true to yourself and your dreams.

Nurture your dreams well,
Love them and let them thrive.
It’s only when our dreams take off
That we are truly alive.

With thanks and acknowledgement to James Horner for the inspiration from his soundtrack to the ‘Apollo 13’ movie (1995).

© 2022 Geoff Allshorn

I Sing the Body Eclectic

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

I sing the body cosmological
I celebrate multiverses;
Particles surfing on dark matter,
Virtualities mingling with the foam of nothingness
from which they came and to which they return.
Whether large or small, cubits or qubits,
Each Big Bang encapsulated in its own bubble.

I sing the body astronomical
Where laws of physics birth and give birth,
From galaxies to primordial goo
Where evolution unfolds from cosmological to astronomical
from stellar to planetary
from geological to chemical
from biosphere to biology
where stellar fires fuel organic fervour:
astronomic ardor begets earthly élan.

I sing the body organic,
A Laniakea of life.
Where muscles, neurons and dynamism
spin and dance and weave together
in a chorus of celebration and exploration
from bio to brio
from leaves of grass to lives of graciousness
from curious to courageous
from ignorant to informed
from enquiring to enlightened.

Image by DrSJS from Pixabay

I sing the body electric,
(The armies of life engirthing each other and being engirthed)
Celebrating confluence to come – –
The rise of sentient AI
and the ennobling and enabling of current life
into TransHumanist and TransOrganic forms.
A joining, a fusing, a suturing,
where neurons marry quantum switches,
where life force marries electricity

A future where organics
and synthetics mingle and merge,
and sentients
and robots
and cyborgs
and DNA-enhanced
and digital
and cybernetic
and conjoined
become the new living normal.

Where ‘society’ becomes ‘singularity’
and where individual thought becomes hive mind;
(the end of loneliness and selfishness and crime and poverty);
where ‘me’ becomes ‘we’
and all flesh and fibre
bone and clone
cellular and crystalline
sweat and sand
mortal and metal
become family.

I sing the body eclectic,
Evolving from cosmos to consciousness,
From cognition to conscience,
From competition to compassion.

With thanks and acknowledgement to Walt Whitman (poet), and Dean Pitchford & Michael Gore (song writers), for their inspiration.

© 2022 Geoff Allshorn

To A Special Friend

For William Katongole (2 February 1989 – 10 March 2022):
gone too soon, too suddenly, and too far from his loved ones.

When in a world
of emptiness,
Friends can be hard to measure,
It’s good to know
that I know you,
Your friendship is a treasure.

To have shared
so much, freely,
with you has been no strife,
I’m glad that you
did open up
the door into your life.

It’s not often
that someone comes,
and makes me have to boast,
that I enjoy
your company
a whole lot more than most.

For even though
My life has been
Occasionally a haze,
I can say
I’m happier now
that you have shared my days.

+ + +

In 1986, a special friend wrote this poem to me, and I treasure it to this day.

Today, I pay it forward by sharing this poem with the world, rededicating it to William, a young man who lived a difficult life, loved his friends deeply, and whose hopeful plans for the future will never be accomplished. Gone but never forgotten.

Original poem © 1986 by Ricky Ransome;
this rededication © 2022 Geoff Allshorn


Commemorating the Apollo 11 Anniversary
54-08-05 ∇ 18:48:34

Lunar Standard Time (LST)
on 20 July 2021 20:17:40 UTC.

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

When I look at the stars,
I am filled with wonder,
Awe and joy –
I revel in their beauty,
I pay homage to my birthright
And my destiny.

I am a Child of the Universe,
Made from star dust,
Sculpted and crafted
From billions of years
Of cosmologic, geologic,
biologic evolution.

I am a pinnacle of what has gone before
And a glimpse of what is yet to be.

+ + +

Adapted from material originally published in
Solar Spectrum #1, Spaced Out, Melbourne, 2001.

© 2021 Geoff Allshorn

The Writer’s Plight

For Trinidad
(a poet and reader, and human rights activist who died on 12 April 2021 after being attacked by a firebomb terrorist in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, on 15 March)
and Jordan
(who I hope will survive and be strong)

To scratch an itch,
To quench a thirst,
To meet a need
From deep inside;

To take a seed,
Nurture its growth,
Then spread its fruit
Both far and wide;

To leave a thought,
A part of self,
A spark of life
Upon a page;

To dare to seek
Immortal stuff,
Regardless of
Critic or age;

It’s not mere pride
Nor vanity,
It’s part of who I am,
It’s me.

And so I write
As I must breathe,
Or feed, or share
An inner wealth;

An act of love,
Creating life,
To procreate
My inner self.

Ideas birth
And seek to grow –
I write them down,
And let them go.

© 1991 Geoff Allshorn
This reprint © 2021 Geoff Allshorn

Child To Man

Originally published in Solar Spectrum #2, Spaced Out, Melbourne, 2002.

Image by Lorraine Cormier from Pixabay

When I look back on younger days
(When things were black and white),
The Enterprise epitomised
My transport of delight.
A life of young simplcity
(A heart both bold and brave),
And fantasy epitomised
The promises life gave.

Roll back the years on memories!
(Role models in my past…)
From Kirk and Straker to Armstrong
Their influences last.
A youth who searched for adulthood
(A literary goal),
From self esteem to romance –
Such adventures filled my soul!

Come back to present time with me
(Come fly the sky in dreams!)
I thank the past for giving me
The vision that life seems.
And as I soar to reach the skies
(And into the unknown),
I thank others who shared their dreams
So I could seek my own.

© 2021 Geoff Allshorn