Friday, April 17, 2015

Event Horizon and Sunset— two monodies, free verse and rondel. #NationalPoetryMonth

Now showing at OMSI!
 I am a science nerd.  If I'm vacationing somewhere and someone utters the words "science museum," I'll be on my phone checking hours, locations, and convenient bus routes to get us there. I don't need a reason to visit hallowed halls of geekdom and discovery, but if pressed, I can lay down a solid argument and can persuade most naysayers to go with me and get their hands stamped at the door.

In Portland, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI is a go-to destination for stay-at-home parents and toddlers. Intriguingly, it has also become evening headquarters for the mingling hipster crowd, with After Dark and Science Pub nights serving up locally brewed microbeers and sustainable food coupled with "child-free, brain-building science fun!" So, there's a chance you'll learn something and get laid that night. How many venues can boast that?

What's not to love?

Plus, did someone mention laser light shows? And while we're at it, the last time I took advantage of my membership and got free tickets to OMSI's Kendall Planetarium, my favorite Irish actor narrated the content. I found myself sitting in the dark, feeling all science-y and yet emotional as well. I thought of how Liam Neeson tragically lost his wife Natasha Richardson six years ago and marveled at how he has kept going strong, despite an irreparable change in the fabric of his life. Then I thought of someone I have lost. We were once described as "twin stars."  In a flash, she was gone and I fell out of orbit. But like NASA's mission to redirect lone asteroids in space and train them to circle the moon, good folks have helped me form new trajectory. I thought of this, smiled, and kicked back to enjoy the screening.  Which doesn't mean I've forgotten her. When I got home, I wrote this monody.*

Event Horizon

In the planetarium
Liam Neeson's dulcet tones
explained the fourth dimension
while colorful CG explosions juxtaposed
with Einstein cameos flashed overhead.
For some, black holes confound
but I know first-hand
that a supernova can light up a galaxy
and immolate it all at once.
That her gravity can become so dense
so intense
that she rips the spacetime fabric
in ways that can never be mended.

 -Amy Baskin

Judi contributed this moving rondel that also doubles as a monody, for it laments the death of her childhood home, which, though arguably a place, takes on the feeling of a treasured person, lost. and mourned.

The sight of the house
Is where I catch my breath
Barren rooms, and an aura of death
Pervade this nineteenth century farmhouse

This fire will not be doused
Furious flames bring a warriors death
The sigh of the house
Is where I catch my breath

Falling tears, soaking my blouse
So much more than the cemetery, this is the death
Blazing, scorching heat, smoldering aftermath
We popped champagne and toasted our house
The site of the house
Is where I catch my breath

-Judi Korpi Webb

*A monody is simply a poem lamenting someone's death. Short but sweet, or bittersweet as the case may be. Got one? Or perhaps an ode to OMSI? Want to share it? If you do, I'll read it. Or, if Judi's poem piqued your interest in rondels, try your hand at one. I wrote some guidelines for rondels here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This (monody of yours) guts me every time I read it.