Some can argue it was poetry
that sent us to the moon and that science
was but the tool for realising dreams

while others may say that the main agent
of inspiration was the Soviet threat,
a pissing contest for world dominance,

to fly the flag in view of our planet.
But on the day that Armstrong leaves the earth
for a third time, the footprint that he set

on that dry surface will hold greater worth
for all the unborn stargazers to the come
than any flag that signals who was first

among the proud tribes of our shrinking home.



I never, ever moaned about the rain,
I liked unfurling black, umbrella wings
over my metre wide psychic domain;

loved how grass verges flushed and gutters sang
their warbly baritones. My pasty skin
could breath in those conditions, felt no pangs

of severance from our blazing mother sun,
the hydrogen homestead, our atoms’ maker.
We might be made of stars but life began

within the churning plenitude of water.


I’ve read about the Higgs Boson a few times
and forgot what it was just as fast,
but feel a little sparky just the same

on hearing that intrepid physicists
have observed it, despite it’s fabled stealth,
this speck of time in which the universe is

capable of remembering itself.

Canto VIII

My firstborn child is still not quite the size
of the chunk I just lopped from my pollex tip,
while chopping carrots with a tiny knife.

I felt it’s sharpness as I lost my grip
just as it felt the softness of my skin.
I bring the stricken digit to my lips

and taste the current spring of my bloodline,
inspect the lump left on the chopping block
the cells and proteins still alive within,

adrift from home, abandoned, come unstuck
a fleshy raft straight out of Gericault,
some cells, it seems, have all the bloody luck

the germ cells continue to boldly go
through all the bodies that are yet to come
while all these chaps have ever come to know

has been the final frontier of my thumb.

Canto III

Small as a seed, but growing day by day,
not much to prove your current human form
distinct from all the catalogued array

of faunal embryos, from mindless worms
to mega brained and devious octopi
all creatures look the same during this term–

the post blastocyst phase of early life.
Right now, your tadpole frame contains three layers:
The endoderm will come to give me grief–

responsible for what shoots from your arse–
becoming lungs, intestines, thyroid gland,
the liver, bladder and the pancreas.

The heart that some say haggles with the mind
will launch into your life’s tempo this week
and from that mesodermic layer we’ll find

what separates the bullish from the meek,
for counter punching bullies in pre-school,
or running for your life if that don't work.

but for the game of life, the major tool
that’s soon to unfurl from the ectoderm
alongside all the hard stuff, enamel,

the skin that lends your personhood a frame,
the hair, the nails for superficial gloss,
all pale before the forming human brain,

the most complex in the known universe
the true home of the self that you’ll become
and though paternally you may be cursed,

let’s hope you get your smartness from your Mum.

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