Monday, April 4, 2011

A Passel of Space Poems

I got started late with my Wild Rose Reader plans for National Poetry Month this year. One thing I decided to do recently was to look through all the poems that I’ve written—many of which I’ve already posted at this blog—and organize them by theme. Today, I’m posting original poems that I wrote on the subject of outer space/space travel/planets and the moon/rockets.

I wrote the first two poems that I posted below about Mars for the “Famous First Words” contest that Anne Levy had at Book Buds in 2006.

Here’s what Anne wrote: Okay, we all know what Neil Armstrong said when he set his boot down on the moon. Or at least we all thought we knew.

So now we're sending people to Mars, maybe. We're sending you, in fact. You open the hatch and leap onto the surface of the Red Planet and say ... What? Honey, I'll be home in time for supper? Hi, Mom?

A Martian Chronicle

(Note: This poem was the contest winner.)

The sky is pink.

The rocks are red.
There ain’t no birdies

It's bare. It's bleak.
Don't see no plants
Or other green

It's desolate.
The air is scant.
Except for me--
No life's extant.

It’s dusty, dry.
I need a beer.


Get me outta here!

A Loquacious Astronaut Waxes Poetic after Stepping Foot on Mars

(With apologies to Robert Frost)

Whose planet’s this? I know I know.

His home’s on Mount Olympus so

He will not see me stopping here

To go exploring to and fro.

The polar ice cap’s very near.

I spy three skaters. Drat! I fear

Some other life forms came before.

I’m NOT the first Mars pioneer.

I see a Super Star Trek Store…

And garish neon signs galore!

There’s garbage everywhere I tread.

Don’t want to be here anymore.

This trip’s a bust to “Planet Red.”

Yo, Earth, give me the go-ahead

To visit Jupiter instead,

To visit Jupiter instead.

Here are two poems I wrote about the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet status in 2006. Note: IAU stands for International Astronomical Union.

PLUTO 2007

Pluto, Pluto, once a planet.
Made of ice…and, maybe granite,
A distant, tiny, frigid sphere
Demoted to a "dwarf" last year.

Pluto, Pluto, once a planet.
Astronomers said: "We should can it.
It’s much too small; its orbit’s odd
It’s named after a nasty god."

Pluto, Pluto, once a planet.
The IAU? It chose to ban it
From the planetary club.
That’s a solar systemic snub!!!


TO: Pluto
DATE: August 24, 2006
RE: Demotion to Dwarf Status

Sorry, Pluto, you’re way too small.
You’re just an itty-bitty ball…
An insignificant cosmic dot…
A speck in the Milky Way. You’re not
Considered a planet anymore.
Here’s your pink slip; there’s the door.
You’re off the list. Goodbye! Adieu!
Don’t go making a hullabaloo.
There’s nothing…nothing…you can do.
Accept your fate.




There was a witch who liked to race

Her supersonic broom through space.

At six o’clock last Friday night

She blasted off at speed of light.

She whizzed past Mercury and Mars…

Then headed off toward distant stars.

Across the galaxy she sped,

A black peaked helmet on her head.

An interstellar traveler, she

Explored the Milky Way with glee.

She chased swift comets here and there.

She watched bright supernovae flare.

She zipped through clouds of cosmic dust…

A witch bewitched by wanderlust.

There was a witch, I’m sad to say,

Flew near a big black hole one day.

It sucked her in just like a bean.

You won’t see HER on Halloween!

Relativity Quatrain

I’m taking a trip in the rocket, my dear.

I’ll travel far faster than light.

I’m leaving tomorrow—but don’t you fret

For I will return tonight.



oor dwarf, so small, so far from the sun,

Lost in a sky full of stars.

Underworld of ice

Traveling its lonely path around the sun,

Outcast of the darkness.

A band of old buddies

Sticking together through the years.

Too small to be planets,

Each one a world apart,

Rocky and lifeless,


In unison,

Dancing a ring around the



Of the sun, bright

Orb in the evening sky, Earth’s



Off the launch pad in a

Cloud of smoke,

Kicking off its invisible tether to

Earth, it blasts into space, blazing a

Trail, searing the sky with its fiery tail.

Spheres of fire, cosmic


A billion billion beacons lighting

Runways to the farthest outposts of the universe

Showing the road back to the beginning.



Tiny planets

Together in a cosmic kindergarten

Holding hands in a circle

Playing Ring around the Sun

Yearning to grow up and have orbits of their own.



Be big

and round

and bold

and bright.

Wear a crown

of golden light.

Keep the planets

in their place.

Be the queen

of outer space.

Things to Do If You Are the Moon

Live in the sky.

Be bold…


be shy.

Wax and wane

in your starry terrain.

Be a circle of light,

just a sliver of white,

or hide in the shadows

and vanish from sight.

Look like a pearl

when you’re brim-full

and bright.

Hang in the darkness

and dazzle the night.


I highly recommend Douglas Florian’s poetry collection Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars. You can read my review of the book here. You can read my 2007 Wild Rose Reader interview with Douglas about the book here.

Click here and here to look inside Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars.

NOTE: I'm still having trouble with Blogger. That's why the text in this post isn't uniform--and why the letters at the beginnings of the lines in my acrostic poems aren't sized properly. I'm not sure what the problem is.


jama said...

Enjoyed all your space poems, Elaine. The Interplanetary Fax made me smile. And how cool that you won the Book Buds Contest. So glad you posted it because I wasn't blogging yet in 2006.

Sorry to hear about your continued Blogger problems. LJ is still very unstable, another DDoS attack today. Getting harder to post things, and readers are understandably having difficulty accessing the site.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks. Dealing with the Blogger problems has been frustrating. At least, I can upload pictures now--and I have line breaks and paragraphs in my text again since I downloaded the Firefox browser. I'm not sure why other kidlit bloggers aren't having the same problems as I.

I hope your LJ issues get resolved soon.

Jessica said...

Hi Elaine,

I would like to request for permission to use one of your poems in an english language textbook for fourth grade students.

Could you could let me know how to contact you? An email address would be great

Thanks very much.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Go to my Profile Page. You'll find my email there.