John F. McCullagh

Gold Star - 5,061 Points (09/28/1954 / Flushing)

The Cheery Herald Of Despair - Poem by John F. McCullagh

The community of Astronomers
mourns a colleague rare:
Brian Marsden, late of Cambridge,
The Cheery Herald of Despair.

His group tracked rocks
that threaten shocks
to Earth’s Blue biosphere.
He would be first to sound alarms
when asteroids’ ventured near.

His work for the Smithsonian
Tracked wanderers in the sky.
He Predicted paths for comets
Calculating their flybys.

Working with a shoestring budget
And a small but gallant crew.
When others wondered what was up
He wondered not- he knew.

When objects near were cause for fear
He’d brief the tabloid press.
- “Just a near miss, but next time round
- It’s anybody’s guess.”

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 28, 2010

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