Plutonic Ponderings - Present And Past Poem by Harley White

Plutonic Ponderings - Present And Past

Rating: 5.0

Most haven't a clue
what to do
here on Earth
to fix our gargantuan plights…

Still Dwarf Planet Pluto in Kuiper Belt ring,
in that most amazing of flights,

has been closely surveyed, contemplated,
perceived, scrutinized, photographed,
(not to mention its moons) ,
long after discoverer Tombaugh departed,

though ashes of his were on board the spacecraft
in its celebrated flyby New Horizons
(complete with its software glitches and trials)
robotic probe mission to Pluto—
that's traveled so far more than three billion miles—
nine years after launching was started.

Whew, what a feat unbelievable—
a visit that seems inconceivable!

Aye, it's historical, phantasmagorical,
stirring us rhymers to ring metaphorical…

But what of the bonny blue planet we dwell on,
that humans are making a virtual a hell on? !

Does anyone care that our weather's awry
and that layers of sky are corrupted on high,
that the seas have contaminants no one has heeded,
and water is scarce where it's very much needed,
while frackers are fracturing terra to death
and the air's so polluted we can't catch our breath! ?

As much as astronomers love looking up,
whatever the schemes they are now cooking up,
we could not survive for an instant on Pluto
or anywhere else they have ventured to go…

By the way, before Pluto was stripped of its status as planet— due to a bigger ice dwarf (which was called 2003 UB313) being found in the far outer reaches of our solar system— in schooldays of yore we were versed in the lore that there were nine planets, and nine seemed so right as we studied the myth of Nine Muses and learned that nine judges sat on the Supreme Court, plus that there are nine months of gestation for humans… (we knew that ‘nine lives has a cat' and that ‘stitches in time can save nine'— in the fabric of time? — and some of us heard of ‘nine worlds of delusion') … Ah yes, having nine felt really just fine.

That alteration from nine to then eight had other ramifications as well— for instance, Uranus and Neptune were named for personifications of sky and sea… Earth added to them, plus time, id est, Saturn, might bring to mind what we think of as our four dimensions— those that we live in— and what is considered ‘reality'…

Pluto was named by (guess who! ?) an eleven-year-old English girl, called Venetia… and apropos, Pluto was classical god of the underworld, mythically… chthonian ruler of netherworlds… lord of the dead— he was Roman equivalent of the Greek 'Hades'… which was, as we know, not only the god, but the house of shades, wherein the deceased dwell as well— which provided a much needed aspect to all these dimensions and our solar system, that many of us mortal beings, collectively speaking, may tend, or prefer, to deny, and of which we have now been deprived… albeit, the British composer, Gustav Holst, would likely have been very pleased, for he had created the orchestral symphonic suite, 'The Planets', in 1916, and roundly refused to revise it when Pluto appeared on the scene. So, ultimately, his decision, we see, has gained credence, or been vindicated by poor Pluto's riddance……

As for the classic mnemonic devices like, ‘My very educated mother just showed us nine planets.'… or ‘My very energetic mother just served us nine pizzas.'… one could make that last read ‘nachos', or ‘sat upon ninjas', to have it be eight… and for a few of my own… after racking my brains I came up with, ‘Many very expensive moon junkets show us nothing.'… next, and more down to basics, ‘My very earthy mother just showed us nature.'… or should it be ‘earthly' in order to not have an ‘R' rating? ... and finally, lastly, ‘Maybe viewing eight might just seem unusual now.'… hmm… oh well……

But let me not get further carried away
in my Plutonic ponderings present and past…

While I'm glad New Horizons is having its say,
still, no matter how much information's amassed,

I'm ambivalent over the portrait unfurled
of Pluto, that icy, yet great-hearted world,
which fascinates, captivates, dazzles the senses,
and teaches us lots of its wherefores and whences…

(‘Twas even seen wagging a plasma tail
in solar wind outflow, leaving a trail…)

Nevertheless, notwithstanding, howbeit,
there's a flip side to the way that I see it.

We should pay attention before it's too late,
and we've found ourselves trapped in a manmade fate,
to the way we are treating our habitat here
from the earth down below to the stratosphere,
plus the flora and fauna whose realms we share,
the emerald-blue oceans, the land, and the air.

I've said it before
and I'll say it once more:

Here on the ground
horrors abound!

So, much as we like seeing Pluto up close
we'd better commit to some plans grandiose
for saving our residence, dear Planet Earth—
an investment indeed of invaluable worth!

Plutonic Ponderings - Present And Past
The 'heart' on Pluto is and other surface details are clearly visible in this stunning false-color view of the dwarf planet captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft this month. NASA unveiled the image on July 24.

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwR
Bill Cantrell 10 January 2017

All I can say is wow, so many intricate facets of pure raw intellect shines in every verse, usually long poems lose my interest because the writer many times uses fillers and additives that don't fit, but you have a simple point of dignity of our stewardship over our Bonny blue home, I am going to read this again and again, such detail is just fascinating in every respect! Wow!

8 0 Reply
Harley White 11 January 2017

Once again, Bill, you have wowed me with your remarks! Even if you are the only person who reads this entire work (with its mixture of styles and musings) , your comment is worth its weight in gold to me, since you have grasped what I was trying to accomplish. To feel understood is vital and boosts the spirits enormously! Thank you so much!

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