I think I shall one day be
an old woman,
beautiful in my ancient age
tissue-paper-thin, softly sagging
skin, wrinkles and creases,
my snowy hair wild, like it was
when I was younger
with tiny bits of shells, aged twine,
and slips of hardened sea weed in it.
Possibly even the long longed-for dreads.
I’d finally have the nerve
and wouldn’t care what people think.
Chimes of patinated copper and driftwood,
broken chunks of china and bleached bird bones,
gently moving in the breeze
as I sit gazing
from my old white-washed porch
with a screen door
palm tree branches swaying,
sand and sea salt dried on my bare feet
from the morning walk
I shall take my basket of gathered treasures –
gifts from the sea
frosted bits of sea glass, tiny long-abandoned
homes of sea snails, wire, wood,
perfect in their imperfection
broken, tumbled, and worn
and I shall string, hammer, wrap and concoct
them into beautiful baubles,
art to adorn
others who adore the sea’s treasures.
and I shall muse
on my terribly painful, infinitely joyful journey
Fact or Fiction
Written by Carol Botha
We are tucked away in the minor Orion-Cygnus arm (spur) of the Milky Way Galaxy. Much of our own galaxy and the Universe out there is obscured by thick dust and gas, yet sophisticated technology has enabled scientists to peer into the vast unknown we are bombarded with a daily dose of new information.
News headlines grab our attention: Cosmos has triple the amount of stars, Milky Way Galaxy’s spiral arms go missing or Bumper crop of super-Earths revealed. Yet, do headlines reveal the whole truth.
Before we build underground bunkers and stock up on supplies we should study the content of articles which, more often than not, include phrases like “new observations suggest, no one knows exactly, if these new results are proved to be correct”, based on assumptions” or “we may not yet know”
Did the Milky Way’s spirals really go missing? Astronomers assumed that all four arms should be brightly lit by star formation but then observations made by the Spitzer Space Telescope showed two arms to be much fainter. Alien Astronomers in neighbouring galaxies with a face-on view of our galaxy could maybe provide us with an accurate answer.
How many stars are there in the Universe? Just when we were coming to grips with the vast amount of mysterious dark matter out there, the Keck telescopes in Hawaii were pointed towards the cores of eight galaxies between 50 million and 300 million light years away. They saw five to ten times more stars than ever before and came to the conclusion that the stars in the Universe could have been underestimated by a factor of three. Thus the amount of Dark Matter could actually be less.
Has an Earth-like planet been discovered? We are counting on NASA’s Kepler satellite to find a planet habitable to life within a few years.
In man’s quest to unveil the secrets of the Universe, ifs and maybes will be in abundance.
Although today’s fact could be tomorrow’s fiction, my ticket is booked on this extreme roller coaster ride to the outer edges of the Universe.