Dredge the depths of black for sparkles in sands of space and time. Galaxies, as oysters, clump in clusters with glue of gravity. Pry them open; savor their secrets. Some are plump ellipticals, others seem to spiral out of saucer-like shells.

In slow motion of a million centuries, shells cartwheel and collide in stellar oceans, pushing against each other with tidal force. Streams of nutrients feed the hidden centers with stars and solar winds winding through silty shrouds. There, deposit their accretions, as a pearl, formed in sacrifice to the black abyss.

Copyright © 2006, John Charles Mannone

Ring galaxy AM 0644-741

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

John C. Mannone discovered poetry in Charlotte, NC in May 2004. His poetry blends lyrical tones rich in imagery. He is a physicist whose passion is to understand the universe. It is surpassed only by one to know its creator. He has formed PoeticWord Ministries to share this passion.

He is a professor of physics at Hiwassee College (Madisonville, TN) and consults in the nuclear industry. He holds advanced degrees in electrical engineering (Ph.D. candidate), plasma physics (M.S.), and physical chemistry (M.S.) and is actively engaged in amateur radio astronomy research. He is frequently sought as a speaker in astronomy outreach events. John is an instrument rated pilot and resides in north McMinn County with his beautiful wife Lyda.

His poetry appears in the Iodine Poetry Journal, Thrift Poetic Arts Journal, Bat Creek Journal, Poetic Praise (2005 Anthology of Rhyme N Chatt), Frontage Road, The Reflector, Swiss American Historical Society Review Journal, International Dark-Sky Association Newsletter, Static Movement, the prestigious Astronomical Calendar 2007 by Guy Ottewell, John Dobson's 90th Birthday Commemorative Book (tribute to the celebrated sidewalk astronomer), as well as Astropoetica.

His website, "Adventures in Astronomy" website is at http://home.earthlink.net/~jcmannone/.