Photograph © 1997 Valentin Grigore.
The Hale-Bopp comet is forever associated in my mind with my mother. The comet last appeared in the sky around the time she died in March 1997. My poem Viewing the Comet was published on the now defunct Pink Cadillac Review website.
viewing the cometValentin Grigore who granted me permission to use his photograph is the founder of SARM (Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy) founded 15 years ago.
The day before your funeral, as I bath my son,
I tell him. "Tomorrow we are saying goodbye
to Grandma; - she is going away
to meet and be with Jesus."
The knock on the door is our neighbour's child
hoping to borrow binoculars which we lost years ago.
She points out the Hale-Bopp comet, bright in the Northern
sky, visible even above the city lights.
Because of the biting wind, I return indoors
to dry my son and my eyes.
SARM's latest project is an Intercontinental Astro-ecological Verse Tournament celebrating the centenary of the first Romanian astronomical society.
The rules were to compose one-line astropoems with maximum 20 syllables, adorned by celestial images as ecologic arguments.
My own contribution was
Hale Bopp's tail hovers another crop of early potatoesThe whole site contains a wealth of poetry and photographs. Andrei Dorian Gheorghe tells me they intend to present it at the International Meteor (Organization) Conference in Slovakia, September 18-21, 2008.
You can read this and other H posts on the ABC Wednesday Anthology, or discover some more via the ABC Wednesday with Mister Linky.