Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ABC Wednesday - H is for Hale-Bopp

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 comet

(for Mother)

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.

Gerald England
Valentin Grigore who granted me permission to use his photograph is the founder of SARM (Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy) founded 15 years ago.

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 potatoes
The 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.


  1. Wonderful post and tribute.
    Thanks for sharing this verse.

    Thanks for the visit,

    PS: I learned a couple of new words.

    "Are those shags on the top of the groyne?"

    The answer is: Lots of Pelicans. a couple of gulls and one tern.

  2. hi Gerald,
    This tribute to your mom is so heartwarming, so are you by posting this for her,
    Its besides heartwarming, also an interesting post, thanks:)

    Happy ABC
    Mine is up also
    greetings , Joann's d Eyes

  3. Gerald, What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Blessings...

  4. Most interesting and compelling post Gerald.

    I only have one "H" for my post today. I hope you like it. I put it on Canon Pixels

  5. It's great that you dedicate this post to your mum. It's a wonderful tribute to her. The poem is excellent.

  6. A heartwarming tribute to you Mom, as I feel this post is really more about her than Hale-Bopp. My H post is a tribute, too. Have a heavenly week. :)

  7. A very touching tribute and poem to go with the photo.
    You are a word weaver.

  8. What a beautiful tribute and poem to your Mother.

    Bear((( )))

  9. How lucky you are to be able to write such poem from so sad event.

  10. Thank you for sharing this very personal moment in your life with us, Gerald. Memories are so good to have with us, aren't they?

  11. Great H post, I remember Hale Bopp among other comets in recent years.

  12. We watched Hale-Bopp for a long time, 1996/7 and I dearly wished I could take a decent picture. Not possible with a bog standard 35mm pointandshoot.
    Nice post, Gerald.

  13. Without gushing or intruding simply
    a lovely tribute.

  14. I also contributed to Sarm's tournament and have written about today.

    Is it really so long ago that Hale-Bopp visited?

  15. Great tribute to your Mum, thanks for sharing with us.

    Yes I was lucky in Scotland only one day of rain, thanks for your comments.

  16. a very moving tribute to your mom, and a special way to remember her

  17. That's pretty neat to have such a great image!
    Cheers, Klaus

  18. Ok, so you captured my heart with this photo. I love astronomy and planetary sciences, and I love this picture.

  19. Yes! I remember Hale Bopp
    It was fabulous here in Az. desert!!!

  20. A lovely tribute Gerald.

    Thanks for sharing,

  21. Oh so beautiful, the photo and your owrds

  22. This is a wonderful tribute to your mother. I remember Hale-Bopp well, standing out to watch on a very cold still night, a sight I will never forget.

  23. This is a beautiful post. I love the poem that you wrote. I am glad that your Mom is in Heaven with Jesus. That is the best place of all to be, even though I know you miss her a lot. God bless.

  24. I remember this comet - the only one I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing!