Congratulations Entrants

First Place
Sushil Dawka, Curepipe, Mauritius

On looking up:

I lay upon my back last night and looked up at the stars,
And listened to the seconds, whisper by for hours.

A roof of black nothingness, pierced with holes of light;
Starry shards of daylight, spaced apart by night.

Like chips of shattered diamonds, the constellations shone;
A distant horde of icy sparks - the world and I alone.

I sensed the weight of planet Earth, its soil and rock and boulders,
Like a space-traveler’s backpack, against my human shoulders.

Dizzy with the swoosh of speed, and the subtle breeze of space,
As spinning round the sun I felt eternity brush by my face.

A thought was lit inside my head, an idea almost divine;
It felt so universal that I knew it could not be mine.

Deep within my inner space, I sensed the feelings glow and grow;
Queries of what’s there to know, and who is it who’s there to know.

Suspicion grew, and then I knew, clearer than a timeless blink;
Inside our human craniums, the Universe had learned to think.

To feel as one with all that space and time and mass and light and black,
Is the closest thing I know to God; that’s why I worship on my back.


Second Place
Christina Sng, Singapore

MIRANDA

They call you
Frankenstein's monster.
Your gray mottled flesh
Grotesque

Against Jupiter's
Swirling perfection; 
Saturn's grand halo. 
Even father Uranus 

Wears a crown
On his pearled head,
Oblivious of
His erratic orbit.

Scarred marble,
The glyphs in your skin 
Were carved from within. 
It was the tango with Uranus. 

Each catch and release
Burned and churned you,
Your icy core rising to birth 
Shakespearean coronae: 

Arden, Elsinore, Inverness.
Such beauty in their eccentricity,
Diversity, cast against
The grayscale of your face.

I saw your picture in '86
When Voyager 2 visited you
And thought
How beautiful you are.


Third Place
Sharon Anderson, Hicksville, USA

In the Beginning

It must have been spectacular,
that tremendous eruption of energy.

Where, before, there had been nothing, a nothing so immense it was almost less than nothing,

there was now a multitude of particles that would, over billions of years become, everything.

But, in that fraction of a second,
that infinitesimal measure of time,
even these particles were, basically, nothing.

Today, we study the universe
as if it had been created for our
amusement.
Posit theories, formulate conclusions,
concoct names for each new discovery

in total disregard for the fact that we are simply the product of that initial event,
evolved over millenniums into
something that is,in the final analysis,
nearly less than nothing.


Honorable Mention
Srishti Nautiyal, Dehradun, India

Astronomers Without Borders

We are nothing but stars
Wrapped up in skin.
Countries and boundaries are deigned to farce,
For beneath thou temporal peel,
We're all eternally akin.

We are all the children of the skies above so crimson,
Our fascination for the universe so sheer.
From Britain to Brazil, all hail in unison -
Nous sommes les astronomes sans frontières.

The wonders of gravity are same in Canada as at Cambridge,
The mysteries of the obsidian holes have challenged the world o'er the human eras.
We shall reveal these secrets together - we've taken the pledge,
As los astrónomos sin fronteras.

We share the stars, we share the Universe.
We share this world with our brethren.
Nationwide skies are streaked impartially by comets numerous,
We cherish this sight, all ethereal and bright
For we are Astronomen ohne Grenzen.

When we look up at the marvels of the Universe,
We are not Indians, neither are we from Japan.
We become the citizens of this wise old world.
And an undying love of the unknown sires our penchant.
Eventually animosity of the imbecile does the love of astronomy withers.
And hey presto! We become the Astronomers without borders.


Honorable Mention (2)
Norman Marigza, Quezon City, Philippines

Sidewalk Astronomy

All hail, all hail to those who toil
to show the stars of old
All hail, all hail let others see
the beauty that unfolds
Let Moon and stars enjoy their dance
away from cloudy veil
Then certainly the 'wow's and 'whoa's
will be there without fail
Inspire and wonder, educate
for this is what we do
And surely minds will gravitate
to seek those wonders too

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