National Poetry Writing Month 2014/15

4104 (for MESSENGER) – April 30, 2015

I don’t know my last orbit’s number
But when I trace that final curve
I hope I’m like you:
Careening headlong into fresh frontiers
A head full of new stories
That I didn’t quite have time
To finish telling


Goldstone – April 19, 2015

I want to be more like Goldstone
Remote from routine radio
From morning shows, sugar spike pop, chronic anger
Away from the fumes of cars pushing through
The bruised vein connecting LA to Vegas
Shielded from the low static of alarm and boredom
I want to be apart from thoughtless days
One following after another like boxcars rattling into Barstow

I want to earn the silence of an open sky
To listen to the desert
The commerce of mice
The glow of scorpions
The slow rumble of rock rising and weathering
To the percussion of summer lightning
The sigh of a cactus flower opening
Just as Jupiter clears the horizon

Even now, pictures of the rings sparkling in Saturn’s cold daybreak
Are arriving on waves that gently wash over my body and yours

I want to be exquisitely sensitive to the subtlest of light
I want to reverberate to the hushed, awed whispers

Drawing: Paul Calle, 1971


Shoemaker-Levy – April 9, 2015

I remember you
From that ancient common swirl
How sweet to be home


For the Same Reason – April 1, 2015



Rendezvous – April 11, 2014

moon poem
Venus and the Moon as seen in an image from a star-tracker camera on board the Clementine spacecraft Image: NASA / Naval Research Laboratory | Poem: Bill Dunford


Unsaid Answer to the #1 FAQ – April 9, 2014

poem 9
Image: NASA / JPL / SSI | Poem: Bill Dunford


The Martians – April 5, 2014

mars poem


After the Night Launch – April 4, 2014

An egret rises
Breaking waves count the seconds
Nominal moonlight


Solstice Stories – April 3 (originally written February 2014)

saturns rings poem
Image: NASA / JPL / Bill Dunford | Poem: Bill Dunford, after Robert Graves


Benediction for Travelers in a New Wilderness – April 2, 2014

mars poem
Image: NASA / JPL / processed by Bill Dunford | Poem: Bill Dunford


Fools – April 1, 2014

saturn poem
Image: NASA / JPL / SSI / processed by Bill Dunford | Poem: Bill Dunford