20 September 2010

Tuesday Poem: Losing Weight

Losing Weight

Losing weight, you
lose your tether to the ground.

The moon awaits, a plate of bone
atop an empty table.

You pass it on its trailing edge
and rise to join the stars.

Tim says: "Losing Weight" was first published in Astropoetica (Summer 2009). Astropoetica is an excellent online journal which I recommend to anyone interested in the stars and poetry.

Continuing that theme a little, "Losing Weight" has been selected for inclusion in Dwarf Stars 2010. Dwarf Stars is an annual anthology of poems 10 lines or under published by the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

Check out all this week's Tuesday Poems.


Kay said...

There I was hoping for a secret! Good poem but I'm still firmly tethered to Earth. : (

Helen Rickerby said...

Cool! Despite the title, I knew it wouldn't be a simple diet poem from you!

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Helen! I should have thought that the title may be off-putting.

From a scientific point of view, the poem should be called "Losing Mass", but that probably conjures up other connotations.

The inspiration for this poem was a wonderful Tim Powers novel called "The Anubis Gates", in which one character, his lifespan greatly prolonged by magical means, is so repugnant to the Earth that he would float off it it not tethered to the ground.

The Anubis Gates manages to incorporate time travel, quantum physics, Egyptian magic and 19th-century poetry in one seamless and amazing narrative. It's a great book!

Helen Lowe said...

Fun stuff, Tim--I love the plays on meaning in both title and poem.

Renee Liang said...

This reminds me of the legend of the Moon maiden - of which there are many versions. But one version has a selfish Empress stealing her husband's pill of immortality (which he had laboured many years with many wise men to find) and swallowing it, whereupon she floats to the moon, condemned to live there forever and look upon the earth that she loves.
(A feminist version I like better is that her husband is a cruel tyrant so she takes the pill in order to save her people).

AJ Ponder said...

Nice. congrats.

Loved the poem - but then noticed a comment - science geek says - unless you're counting a loss in fuel - losing weight IS correct - because weight includes gravity and mass doesn't.

Kathleen Jones said...

I loved the image of the moon as a plate of bone.

Tim Jones said...

Thank you, Helen, Renee, AJ and Kathleen. I'm glad you all liked the poem.

Renee, I wonder whether Tim Powers had the legend at least partially im mind when he wrote "The Anubis Gates"?

AJ, thanks for the science note - maybe I remembered that when I came up with the title, and then forgot!