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I live in New Zealand Australia California Australia western Canada, and like writing and reading poetry. If you like poetry, or musings about astronomy, I may occasionally say things of interest, as per the older entries below. F-locked merely for basic privacy; quite happy to add if there's any overlapping interests.

the remembrance of past light and lives

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Poetry news of the last little while:

In April, Apex Magazine published "Unlabelled Core c. Zanclean (5.33 Ma)", a poem from a paper on the time when the Mediterranean was dry - and then reflooded. This led to a very happy exchange on Twitter, where the paper's author was delighted to find his paper had led to a poem!

rose_lemberg's poetry/prose anthology An Alphabet of Embers has funded its Kickstarter! This means Stone Telling will be publishing an issue of rhymed mermaid poetry. RHYMED. MERMAIDS. The world will never recover. It also means there will be a chapbook for backers of the Kickstarter: Spelling the Hours, a chapbook of poems celebrating those forgotten from many histories of science and technology. My poem on women astronomers "Marginalia" has been accepted for the chapbook.

Through the Gate has accepted "Cape Evans", a poem because museum exhibits never have the scent of Antarctic huts. A lovely little journal, Through the Gate are currently raising funds for operations in 2015.

In October, Mythic Delirium will publish "The Ensouling of Spacecraft", a poem that came from a sociology study of the MER Mars rover team.

And Radiations, the publication of the physics honour society Sigma Pi Sigma, will be reprinting "Seamstress" from Stone Telling #7 in their next issue.



There's a new paper out suggesting our home largest known structure, the Virgo Supercluster, is part of an even larger supercluster: the authors suggest it should be called Laniakea (Hawaiian: immense heaven) Supercluster. I like our new cosmic address.

the contemplation of year's end

down under christmas
Thesis: submitted - and accepted with corrections.

Poetry published in 2013:
"Gneiss-Mother". The Cascadia Subduction Zone, January 2013.
"Grandmother Ash". The Cascadia Subduction Zone, January 2013.
"Ōtautahi in Spring". inkscrawl #5, 15 January 2013.
"Foam, Braided with Teeth". Stone Telling #9, 1 March 2013.
"Orpheus in Orbit". Ideomancer, 3 March 2013.
"The Unicorn Observer Principle". Imaginaire, 8 April 2013.
"An Unexpected Review". Niteblade, June 2013.
"If Wurrunna Had Seen the Mardi Gras". Goblin Fruit, Spring 2013.
"Relic of the Journey". inkscrawl #6, August 2013.
And "Loki, Dynamicist" was placed third in Strange Horizons' 2012 Readers' Poll.

Moved from Australia to Canada. Found and made a home.
Saw the salmon run, and walked in cedar forests.

New job. New collaboration. So much data to play with!
Conferences in Campbell River, Vancouver, Victoria, Melbourne (first-ever invited talk!), Denver.

Succeeded in finishing all the blocks for my quilt bee, somewhat delayed - but done.
First quilt commission request.

Saw my godmother for the first time in years, on an island about as remote as one can have in New Zealand.

Anabasis: finding a new path.


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time for the hero's salmon-leap

Cave Creek
1. In the land of fungi and ferns, the salmon run has started in earnest.

The salmon run is in full swing

fish at the top right; masters of the waterfall!

so Many fungi

a pathway down across the moss

Spectacular mystery fungi

cups for rain and pine needles

We went out to Goldstream Park. There are already more salmon than rocks in the river: three sorts of salmon (chum, coho and chinook) come ashore there. The eagles were waiting, and the gulls. Upstream a bear had been at work, with bites out of the head of many fish and nothing else touched. (Perhaps salmon count as Halloween candy for bears).

2. The largest, triannual, conference in my subfield has asked me to given an invited talk. Oh goodness. See you in July next year, Finland. (Finland!)

3. "The Ensouling of Spacecraft" has been accepted by Mythic Delirium; my first sale there.

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eels and poems and hummingbirds, oh my

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Oh look, four things make a post.

1. There was a story up at Strange Horizons recently, Longfin's Daughters by the relatively new author O. J. Cade. It's a succinct bildungsroman, finding identity, a typical fairytale - except not so much. My experience of reading initially went:
a. EELS! No...surely it's not going to be about NZ eels. Expect disappointment.
b. Gum tree. But other places also call them gum trees.
c. cords of manuka! Okay, it is an NZ story. Excellent.
Because the number of stories that use NZ background for fairytale settings I can count on one hand... The whole story has a love of place and setting and detail that lends it an almost Mahy-esque sparkle and joy.

So I was particularly frustrated to be reading happily through this story, where words such as manuka (a shrubby tree, which has wood heavy with oil, making it good firewood) have been used without italics, and then find 'taniwha' italicised. To the character, the word isn't foreign. It's an unnecessary othering that could easily, easily have been avoided.

And this leads me to the part I found most troublesome. The two older sisters find eels wonderful creatures, and suggest the youngest sister read up on eel lore and mythology to learn to love them better. Which means that Māori lore and mythology are introduced by the character disposed to dislike and be scared by it, and convey that it is dislikable and scary to the reader. Sigh.


2. I have poems up that I hadn't mentioned, in all the moving and travelling and general chaos of New Job: at Imaginaire, 'The Unicorn Observer Principle', and at Niteblade, 'An Unexpected Review'. And a poem in Goblin Fruit! The Spring issue is out now.

3. First visit by a hummingbird to our new flat: it was all drenched in green, not red-throated like the ones I've seen so far at work.

4. It is both very strange to be in Christchurch, first time since 2011, and not so strange. Peaceful green fields have sprung up where some light-industrial buildings from Victorian times once housed art supplies and outdoor equipment shops. Seeing Empty Chairs for the first time at night, under the sodium mournfulness of streetlights: eerie. But there is so much liveliness, and art in places where it never lived before. The city still has joy.




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Homo dissertationae is a tea-based lifeform

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Not long. Oh dear.
Then: freedom! To be followed by sleep. Possibly for a week. And then fixing all the things for the Mighty Paper.

But because one of my friends who I have never met is creative and wonderful, there was this happymaking thing:
@astrokiwi (michele bannister) by pixbymaia


And now I have been modelled in LEGO, with the first verse of The First Flute, Played in Enceladus's Light: Five Voices. The best days are those when science and poetry overlap.


You folks should all go vote for the names of Pluto's fourth and fifth moons. Charon, Nix and Hydra need mythological friends.


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distant land of braided rivers

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My poem "Ōtautahi in Spring" is now online as part of the fifth issue of the small and perfectly formed inkscrawl. It was written in response to the Christchurch earthquakes, a feeling of watching from afar as the city I know well tried to reform.

Perhaps that's why the patupaiarehe; they are he iwi atua, supernatural beings (I hesitate to say fey, but the import is approximate); here first, having seen earthquake after earthquake, like the generations of godwits that fly the width of the world every year.

There's some lovely poems there; do go see.


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a gift in the crumbs of charcoal

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Hello, Dreamwidth! Trying a crosspost. The one annoyance with Dreamwidth that I have noticed is that Livejournals that I am subscribed to are not showing up on the Dreamwidth reading list, which will stop me switching for now. Otherwise the interface is pleasant & familiar. Do folks find it preferable to have comments enabled on both sides, or just one?

My contributor's e-copy of The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Vol 3, No. 1 arrived today, with my poems "Gneiss-Mother" and "Grandmother Ash". I'm particularly fond of the second for playing with deep time, geological natural disasters and hominin ancestors.

And apparently the Isis-cave now wants to be a poem cycle, involving sea-caves, pohutukawa roots, Lascaux. Why now? Couldn't this happen after the thesis?

Fire warnings are at extreme; going to be above 35 C this entire week. A little scary, as this is the bush capital.


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Poems of 2012

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Published in 2012:
"Loki, Dynamicist". Strange Horizons 9 January 2012.
"Seamstress". Stone Telling #7 29 March 2012.
"Bird-winged". The Cascadia Subduction Zone, 2(2):15, 1 April 2012.
"The Problem of Two Bodies". The Cascadia Subduction Zone, 2(2):20, 1 April 2012.
"Sky-shaping". Strange Horizons, 28 May 2012.
"The First Flute, Played in Enceladus's Light: Five Voices". Jabberwocky, 29 May 2012.
"Anvil-Mistress". Ideomancer, 1 June 2012.
"Pasifika: Regrets". inkscrawl #4, 8 August 2012.
"Year-king". Through the Gate, 25 September 2012.
"The Architect of Snow". Strange Horizons, 31 October 2012.

Reprinted:
"Seamstress". In Here, We Cross: a collection of queer and genderfluid poetry from Stone Telling 1-7 , Stone Bird Press, May 2012.

sun in the morning and song on the breeze

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I woke up this morning to an a capella group practising Christmas carols in the carpark across the road. Today is good.

My short poem "Ōtautahi in Spring" has been accepted by mitchell_hart for the guest-edited issue of inkscrawl, #5. It was written back in spring as a reflection for Christchurch; there are patupaiarehe.

Oh, and a good time to mention: on Thursday, this dark of the moon, look up. There will be meteors