Photograph by Calin Niculae

by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe

Last night,
Saturn was so bright,
as if it were Jupiter,

Sirius was so bright,
as if it were
the head of a fireball,

Jupiter was so bright,
as if it were Venus,

and the Moon’s sickle
seemed to be
so comfortable,
as if it were a space ship
inviting me...

Copyright © 2006, Andrei Dorian Gheorghe

by John Francis Haines

Planets and stars lie hidden by cloud
And dimmed from our sight by pollution’s cruel glare,
The sky is not streaked by the fireball’s track,
The moon’s bright sickle refuses to shine.
A spacefleet could hurtle to Earth quite unseen,
The glint of its steel not suspected or known.
If the cloud could just part and we switched off the lights
The heavens would blaze with glittering fire.

Copyright © 2006, John Francis Haines

Image Credit: Copyright © 2006, Calin Niculae

Andrei Dorian Gheorghe is the founder and director of the Cosmopoetry Festival of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy-SARM. He is the editor of over 30 slim English anthologies of Romanian and international astropoetry, and is the director of original astropoetry performances presented at the International Meteor Organization Conferences 1997-2005, the Leonid MAC Workshop of NASA (Tel Aviv, 2000), and the European Convention of Science Fiction - Romania 2001. In 2003, he initiated the Meteor Contemporary Poetry Project for the IMO. More of this poet's work may be found in the SARM Golden Astropoetic Gallery and The Best of SARM.

John Francis Haines is a British poet born in Chelmsford and educated at Hull High School for Commerce. He has lived in Warrington since the ‘70s, taking early retirement in ’99 after nearly 30 years as a local government officer. In his poetry, to quote fellow genre poet J. C. Hartley, he “uses his environment as a jumping-off place into the future and deep space.” His work has appeared in over 150 magazines in the U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Italy and Romania, and in important genre anthologies. Since 1991 he has edited Handshake, the newsletter of the Eight Hand Gang (British network of science fiction poets).