Welcome to GeoVerse!

This is a collection of original poems which began with some about geology, which is why it’s called Geoverse; but there are now poems on all sorts of things – life, the universe, and (almost) everything. Click ‘About the author’ (above) to find out who wrote them . . .
To meet all the poems, most recent first, just keep scrolling down the page (there were nearly 600 at the last count).
To find a list of poems on a particular subject, use the Index tab (above), or enter a term in the Search box (below right) , or click a Topic (on the right).
I  hope you find something you like! Gordon Judge

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Part of Planet Six

On 15 October 1997, the Cassini orbiter and its Huygens probe left Earth for a 20-year journey to Saturn. Neither of them returned to Earth, of course, but a huge amount of data and some remarkable photographs did.

(Artist’s impression)

The craft they called Cassini looked very, very teeny
’Gainst Saturn and its rings, each one aglow,
Collecting lots of data so that, a little later,
It could beam them back to Earth, so far below.

NASA’s little star had travelled very far:
Round Venus, using gravity-assist
(The experience was so nice that it went and did it twice).
Then Earth and Jupiter were on its list.

Then came Saturn’s turn, and we were soon to learn
Of the next phase in Cassini’s grand campaign:
Through Titan’s atmosphere the Huygens probe would disappear
And land upon a pebble-strewn terrain.

Enceladus came next: we just did not expect
Its plumes of icy water, which contains
Methane, hydrogen and salt, CO2 and – who’d have thought –
There’s silica, as microscopic grains1!

There’s so much more to tell about other moons as well,
Some mini-moons, quite titchy little things:
Anthe, Daphnis, Pallene are just three Cassini’s seen,
And ‘Peggy’ being ‘born’ among the rings2.

There she is – the blip on the outer edge of Saturn’s outermost ‘A’ ring!

Then Cassini, all alone, took a photo of its home,
The planet Earth within a ring-gap framed.

But NASA had intended that the journey would be ended
With a final death-plunge at the planet aimed . . .


It’s such a crying shame that, despite its world-wide fame,
Cassini had to end its quest of pics.
But its NASA-planned demise – to crash through Saturn’s skies –
Has made Cassini part of Planet Six3.

1. See https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/news/2529/
2. It seems that ‘Peggy’ might have fragmented since her first sighting, perhaps after a collision . . .
3. On 15 September, 2017. RIP.

[All images: NASA]
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No fly-tipping

“No fly-tipping”, the sign ordered. A problem for Mr W Stickers’ Fly Removal Service.

I’m trundling round the country lanes
In a truck piled high with flies.
The people at the roadside gasp –
They can’t believe their eyes!

The truck says “William Stickers,
No Job Too Great Or Small:
However many flies you’ve got,
Let Bill remove ’em all”.

And business has been good this year,
The weather’s been so sunny
That plagues of flies are everywhere.
And plagues of flies ain’t funny,

I’m doin’ a social service, see:
I ought to be supported!
But no-one wants the end result,
I’m always being thwarted.

Trouble is, the place I’ve used
To dump things hitherto
Has got a “No fly-tipping” sign.
But what else can I do?

I takes away yer pesky flies,
And yet I’m always taunted:
“Bill Stickers will be prosecuted” –
I feel I’m just not wanted.

[Image: environmentjournal.online]
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Motor ways

I wondered why so many cars pass me on the motorways of Britain.

My speedo’s in need of attention.
It seems to be reading too fast:
When it indicates I’m doing 70,
There are dozens of cars hurtling past . . .

So the question is: how can the speedos
On the other cars all be so wrong?
Well, maybe they’re unmarked police cars
Each chasing the other along . . .

The first one is on an emergency,
But the others can’t tell – they’re all thinking:
“He’s over the limit! I’ll nick him,
And check him for drugs and for drinking!”

Or perhaps my speedometer’s right
And all of the others read slow?
Well, I thought of a way I could test it,
To make very sure that I’d know.

So I drove very smoothly at thirty
Towards one of those signs that display
The speed that you’re actually doing;
And it proved that my speedo’s okay.

(Well, it’s 10% fast; but it’s wrong
In the right way – the way that I need,
For it means I’ve a margin of error
As I whizz up the M1 at speed.)

Which means – no, it can’t be –
That most other speedos read slow,
And everyone sticks to the limit?
Of course they do. Maybe. Dunno . . .

[Image: highwaycode.co.uk]
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Stick and stones may break my bones, but words can be soporific.

A verbose old preacher called Trevor
Gave sermons so wordy and clever
That, once he’d begun,
The ideas would come
And he’d go on for ever and ever . . .

[Image of The sleeping congregation by William Hogarth: victorianweb.org]
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A neighbour had left one of these at her front gate with a notice offering it free of charge to passers-by.

I used to be a courgette,
Quite small and sleekly narrow;
But ’cos I wasn’t picked in time,
I’ve grown into a marrow.

My waistline has increased
As you’ll have surely noted –
Obese, in courgette terms, I s’pose –
So now I feel quite bloated.

Please take me home, there is no charge.
Then cut me into twain,
And stuff and cook me. Then I’ll know
My life was not in vain.

[Image: theecologist.org]
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Edie Acaran

Humans used to think they were what evolution, and the Universe itself, had been aiming at all along. Some still do. It seems that a certain Ediacaran fossil from the late Precambrian (around 550 million years ago) had much the same view of herself . . .

They call me Edie Acaran. Evolution stops with me.
I am the very pinnacle of the evolutionary tree.
Not like my ancient forebears: they thought they were cool cats,
But the best that they came up with were mere microbial mats –
Bacteria just divide their cells, but that is so passé.
But fortunately my ancestors evolved a better way:
I reproduce by stolons. It’s the only way, you know,
To move around the sea-bed on the sediments below.

I have a frond and holdfast, and a stalk to join the two:
A multicellular marvel, the newest of the new!
My holdfast brings me minerals* from the rock it’s stuck me to;
And my frond has so much surface that nutrients permeate through*.
My Universe is water. There’s nothing else, it’s clear.
Whichever way I turn my frond, it’s water, far and near.
Yes, evolution stops here. I am perfect, top to toe.
My body plan’s so complex, there’s nowhere else to go . . .

* Possibly . . .

[Image of Charniodiscus on Australian stamp: Universal Postal Union]
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Agates are like people

That’s how Ian Graham, a local collector, described them, and he should know – he has a house full of them!

Agates are like people:
Each one is quite unique.
You’ll never find a pair the same,
However long you seek.

As agates are bright-banded,
So people’s DNA
Shows banding in its profiles
As a colourful display.

Like people, too, their beauty
Lies deep within a skin
That might look rough, but hides a treat
For those who look within.

[Images: Wikipedia; abc.net.au]
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