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Saturday, September 27, 2014


by Martin Elster

This is an illustration of water in our Solar System through time from before the Sun's birth through the creation of the planets. (Image source: Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO via Science Daily) “Water was crucial to the rise of life on Earth and is also important to evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Identifying the original source of Earth's water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments come into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. New work from a team including Carnegie's Conel Alexander found that much of our Solar System's water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Their work is published in Science.” --Science Daily, September 25, 2014

The molecules commingling in your glass
once swirled in clouds of interstellar gas,
surrendered to a leisurely collapse
and drenched a world whose pair of crystal caps
interns them under sleds and fleecy shoes,
while warmer zones allow them to infuse
the stems and stalks of your Kukicha tea
or trickle up your favorite apple tree.
A cornice softens on the Matterhorn,
hastens toward Green Lake to be reborn
a mirror amid the heights, evaporates,
condenses in a stretch of blue, then waits
for drops to fuse and fatten, fall and land
on forest, field or the parading band —
a rill of resonances drifting down
the central boulevard of some small town,
each drumming hand, each fifing lung, each brain
brimming with primeval, living rain.

Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens!, is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poems have appeared in such journals as Astropoetica, The Flea, The Martian Wave, The Rotary Dial, and in the anthologies Taking Turns: Sonnets from Eratosphere, The 2012 Rhysling Anthology, and New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan. Martin’s poem, “Walking With the Birds and the Bones Through Fairview Cemetery” received first prize in the Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition 2014.