Planet X in the Far-flung Outer Solar System #poem #poetry #astronomy #solarsystem #planet

Man From PLanet X movie poster

This is the best I can do, since there is no image of Planet X yet

Watching perturbations.
In planets far away,
In cold realms way-past Jupiter,
Past Saturn, wobbles sway.

When Lowell discovered Pluto,
A store of luck was spent.
The famous dwarf is just too small
To tug

But orbital mechanics
Cannot be denied.
Something’s out there, far away.
Perhaps a Planet Nine.

Dwarf planets with companions
Among the plutoids hide.
The more we find, the better guess
Where Planet X resides.

Kate Rauner

Thanks to for their article on Goblin (2015 TG387), another Pluto-sort of object tripped over in a long-term, ongoing sky survey that may ultimately find Planet X.

And we expect
Someone will spot
This Planet X.

The more plutoids
That we find,
The more our theories
Are refined.


Most Basic to Life #biology #science #poem #poetry #whatislife


Are you alive?
How do you know?
What do you look at
To see if it’s so?

Is it because
You oxidize food?
Consume and create

Or the homeostasis
That you maintain?
Do you need cells
To be in the game?

What if the planets
Hold a surprise?
Organized data
May say you’re alive.

Kate Rauner

Thanks to for raising the question, even if there’s no consensus answer. For you and me, “I think therefore I am” may work as well as any other answer.

Ancient Tragedy is a Stunning Ice Age Find #paleontology #Siberia #mummy #poem #poetry

mummified foal

Credit: Michil Yakovlev/SVFU/The Siberian Times

Forty thousand years concealed
In the arctic frost,
Mummified from tip to toe,
A baby that was lost.

Millennia did not erase
The tragedy we found.
A mare whose foal,
Just two months old,
Fell, was trapped,
And drowned.

How many days
Did she graze
Along that fatal shore?
Calling for a baby gone
Who would respond no more?

A herd, like time,
Is never still,
And soon away will drift,
To leave behind,
For us to find,
Her unintended gift.
Kate Rauner

This story reminded me that we share a lot with Ice Age animals.

Paleontologists found the mummified body of the young horse inside the 328-foot-deep (100 meters) Batagaika crater during an expedition to Yakutia in eastern Siberia… Its mummified remains were so well-preserved by icy conditions that the skin, the hooves, the tail, and even the tiny hairs in the animal’s nostrils and around its hooves are still visible.

Ages of a Dog #dog #puppy #years #poem #poetry #Shakespeare

With apologies to William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act II Scene VII.

dogs playing tug-a-warAll the world’s a stage,
And all canines upon it merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one dog in his day plays many parts,
His acts being six ages.

At first, the puppy,
Snuggling with his litter mates,
Warm at momma’s side.
Then the happy junior,
Chewing everything in sight,
Drooling on humans much-beloved
In his forever home.

And next the adult, quite content,
Who knows his home and family,
Where best to snuffle for fresh scents,
Prepared to defend pack and den.

And then mature,
In fair round belly with good kibbles lined,
Escorting his owner on long walks,
Calm and wise with muzzle graying;
And so he plays his part.

The fifth age shifts
To senior dog,
His youthful energies, now rationed
For the occasional rabbit,
Deep baying sometimes hoarse,
Still willing, even as his legs betray.

Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Wags and smiles when hears his name,
Content within his doggie bed.

Kate Rauner

With thanks to for the age of dogs and cats. Write your own version 🙂 We especially need a cat poem.

Silver City Quarterly Review – don’t miss the summer edition #newmexico #newmexicotrue #literary #literaryfiction #reading #stories #poems

Raven Painting © 2016 by Silja Erg

Painting © 2016 by Silja Erg

Find a delightful mix of essays, short stories, and poems in the summer 2018 edition of the Silver City Quarterly Review, including one of my poems.

My little corner of southwest New Mexico, site of copper mining for centuries and gateway to the Gila National Forest and Continental Divide trail, is home to a lot of talented writers. We have a thriving artist community too. Imagine discovering a little version of Santa Fe before the crowds did. If you’re ever in our vicinity, spend a few days.

Thanks to Chris Lemme for all the time and care he puts into the review. And for finding such a wonderful illustration for my poem. (Painting © 2016 by Silja Erg)




Fatal Fashions #poem #poetry #chemistry #arsenic

Victorian demonstration of chemistry

Victorians loved chemistry

A gorgeous pigment,
Lovely green,
Made dresses sparkle
Like emeralds.
Bonnets to display with pride
Brought happiness
So ephemeral.

The fanciest paper
On the wall,
To grace a baby’s nursery,
Or a parlor
Kept for guests,
Brought pain and death,
But no mercy.

Even books,
My comfort close,
Collected in old libraries,
Can curse a modern reader still,
As they did to their

Arsenic makes that glowing green
So irresistible.
Its compounds deadlier than sin
Their poison touch

Kate Rauner

The Victorians knew villains used arsenic, but somehow missed understanding that not all victims were killed by a human murderer. Unless you count the manufacturers of these dreadfully beautiful pigments. Interested in the grisly details of death by arsenic poisoning? Read here.

Summer Book Sale, All Kinds, Links Here, Leave Comments #books #ebook #reading #readingtweet

Colony on Mars series coversIt’s half over but still time for great deals.  My links are below, and click here for loads more books in all genres!

Please do me a favor. Come back here and enter a comment on a book – one sentence is enough for me to share with other readers!

Here are my Smashwords links! The discount code is on each page. Thanks for your help 🙂

50% off Colony on Mars Box Set – all 5 stories, what a deal

50% off Storm on Mars – the latest Mars colonization book

50% off Venture – space station disaster leads to a fantastic journey

Science inspired poetry collections – 1st collection free, 2nd collection free, latest collection 50% off

Glitch, my predictions of the future rolled into a story, free

It’s summer! The perfect time for great deals on books. I publish through Smashwords and they run a blow-out sale every July. Now’s the time to download your summer reading and find a new favorite author.

Browse all the great Smashwords deals here.

Do it now – these deals expire 11:59pm USA Pacific time on July 31