23 October 2012

Tuesday Poem: Before Science Stepped In, by Rod Usher

Before science stepped in with its fancy footwork
A raw youth, I'd scan nights for a shooting star
Crooning like Como to catch one and pocket it
Could it really do the magic? Unhook a girl's bra?

Ha! They're not stars, mere fragments of comet
Arcs of burnout in the black canopies of June
Older now, sadder, I leave science to the boffins
Rave on about breasts to an understanding moon.

Credit note: "Before Science Stepped In" by Rod Usher was first published in Eye to the Telescope 2, a special Australian and New Zealand issue of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's online journal, which I edited. The poem has been selected as a finalist in the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Dwarf Stars Award for the best short-short speculative poetry published in 2011, and will appear in the 2012 Dwarf Stars Anthology. It is reproduced here by permission of the author.

About the author: Rod Usher is an Australian writer living in Spain. His poems have been published in Island, Meanjin, Quadrant, Going Down Swinging, et al. He is a former literary editor of The Age and senior writer for TIME magazine in Europe. His third novel, Poor Man’s Wealth (2011), is published in Australia and New Zealand by HarperCollins, and is available in paper and e-book formats.

Tim says: A well-executed short poem is a joy to behold, and I very much like the way "Before Science Stepped In" links scientific and romantic disillusion while still holding out the consolation of the "understanding moon".

The Tuesday Poem: Is actually the Tuesday Poems - each week's hub poem and all the other poems linked from the left of that page.


Michelle Elvy said...

I like the idea of this and the opening line/title -- and how, in the end, it all comes down to some simple truths. I like the moon in this too.

Piokiwi said...

love the last line - has the element of surprise and comedy.

Helen Lowe said...

I liked the wry tone of the poem. Thanks for posting, Tim.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Michelle, Renee and Helen - and an especial hello to you, Renee - I hope everything is going well for you and yours!

Helen McKinlay said...

I enjoyed this very much Tim. I like the way it puts science in its place. Ther's nothing equals the imagination and longings of the human spirit.

Helen McKinlay said...


Penelope said...

Ah, but moon and June still rhyme...A lovely and very clever little poem.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Helen and Penelope!

Rachel Fenton said...

Tightly written poem - I like it - clever.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, Rachel - lovely to hear from you!