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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

JW Space Telescope Stirs

By: Alicia Sometimes

how we tell ourselves the bleak expanse

of nothingness is something | observe

calibrating the past | spatial increments

lambent assemblies of branched history

bold telescope in halo orbit | L2 Lagrange

point | waiting for clarity in staring cold

its primary eyes scanning | 18 hexagonal

mirror segments | gold-plated beryllium

scouring distant galactic light | deep field

nebula more than just sparkle on a poster

the way we keep searching | things larger

than new space | we are immensely small

honeycombs surveying long-wavelength

visible light | through to mid-infrared

anticipating the mumblings of first stars

how life begins | formations of planets

during alignment process | self-reflection

precision composure | resplendent focus

discovering where we have been | where

we will be | a sharp lens on our universe


Alicia Sometimes is an Australian poet, writer and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word and poetry at many venues, festivals and events around the world. She is director and co-writer of the art/science planetarium shows, Elemental and Particle/Wave. Alicia was previous Fellow at the State Library of Victoria and has had residencies at Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre, Varuna and Melbourne Aquarium. She is currently a Science Gallery Melbourne ‘Leonardo’ (creative advisor). Her TedxUQ talk in 2019 was about the passion of combining art with science. In 2020 Alicia won the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize. In 2021 she is completing a Boyd Garret residency for the City of Melbourne and Virtual Writer in Residency for Manchester City of Literature and Manchester Literature Festival.

Behind the Scenes:

The JW Space Telescope is the largest telescope humans have ever sent into space. It will be able to look further into deep space than we could have ever imagined. It uses segmented mirror technology and after its first images were sent back to us we can delight in its many possibilities. I wanted to write a poem about the hope and daring that goes into something as marvellous as JWST. I'm just so proud of those thousands of scientists and engineers who worked on it for so many years.


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