Weird objects in the sky that I have seen.

Last night I watched a documentary about alien abductions. It was a terrible programme and it really did waste one hour of my life. However, it did remind me of the occasions in which I have seen weird objects in the sky which I’ve not been able to explain.

I am a logical person with an interest in science and aviation. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved aircraft and flying, and I grew up near Heathrow Airport. Because of this, I’d spend a lot of time looking at the planes flying over our house. I knew all the airlines and the different types of aircraft and could distinguish between, for example, the Boeing 747-200 and the Boeing 747-300.

In the late 1980s, my father and I both observed two bright lights in the sky to the west of our house. It was night time and the bright lights were stationery in the sky. They were brighter than the surrounding stars and perfectly parallel with each other. We observed these lights for a few minutes, and then, quick as a flash, they moved to a slightly different part of the sky, still to the west. Naturally, my scientific mind is eager to determine what these might have been. Geostationary satellites is my best guess, for they appeared to be a very long way up in the upper atmosphere. I’m sure that other people must have seen these, too.

The second weird thing I saw must have been also in the late 1980s. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was on the school playing field at break time, at the middle school I was attending. As normal I was doing a bit of plane spotting, when I saw an object floating directly above. It was metallic and reflected the sun from its sides, and triangular, slowly turning, so that the sun on its sides seemed to pulse. I watched it for quite a while, thinking, hmm, I bet they’ve got a good view from up there, and what a beautiful day to be flying, then thought no more of it. It was only when I grew up did I ponder in exactly what it might have been. My best and most boring guess is that it was some kind of helium filled balloon. But where would it have come from? It looked very solid.

The third thing that I saw already has a name and a catalogue of witness accounts. During a ferocious thunderstorm, again in suburban Surrey, a ball of lightning moved very slowly past my bedroom window. I remember it very distinctly, the way that the shadow of my window frame very slowly moved across the room, the way that my drawn curtains lit up with the light from the glowing ball very visible the other side of them. Indeed, this seems to run in our family, as my mother believes that she also saw ball lighting when she was a young adult, actually penetrating the walls of the room she was in at the time and passing right through as if it were a ghost.

And the last thing I saw was the weirdest. In the early 2000s I caught the passenger ferry from Torquay to Brixham across Torbay, again on a very clear, sunny day, only to see what can only be described as a thin sliver of metallic ribbon curling and floating through the sky across the bay, in a westerly direction. It seemed to curl and bend over itself as it moved and there were no obvious signs of propulsion, yet it was very clearly moving. My scientific mind pondered on what it could possibly have been, eventually settling on a Swarm Of Bees or some such insect, but it really did have solidity.

So these are the odd things I’ve seen during my life. I’m open minded as to what they might have been. I’m aware that some might assign them as being of alien origin, though I’m conscious that it might be almost impossible for anything to travel across the vast distances of space. I have never believed in aliens, or at least, in extra terrestrial entities.

The Singular Conundrum of High Concept Poems

It’s funny the way things go. Poems, I mean. I often feel that the best poems are created when two or more ideas come together, and this always excites me. And indeed, some of my best loved poems and the ones I love performing the most are these types.
Yet lately I’ve had a trouble with three or four poems which have been perplexing me greatly. And these are conceptual, a conjoining of several themes and ideas. Indeed, part of the problem seems to be that they are purely ‘concept’ poems and as a result they exist more as mathematical experiments, scientific poems with no heart.
Take the one I’ve been working on lately. It’s called Poem’, but it also has the subtitle, ‘I can’t believe you would rather go rock pooling than come with me to the circus’. The moment I started working on this I felt rather proud of it and several verses seemed to write themselves, and at the end of each day I’d relax, happy with my efforts and my intellectual prowess at having created something so wonderful as a poem about a couple arguing over going rock pooling or going to the circus.
And then I put it aside for a while.

And then when I read it again, it felt me cold. I mean, the whole idea of it, the poem seemed too forced.
I think the problem was that it was not speaking from my heart. I have no interest in either circuses or rock pooling, I just liked the idea of these concepts being forced together. I didn’t care about the characters in it. All of the references to rock pooling and circuses seemed forced.
This doesn’t mean that the poem is dead. Far from it, the whole thing is very much alive, even if it currently resembles an old car in a garage, in several bits all over the floor. It’s become like a puzzle which has to be solved, and I’m looking forward to getting underneath its skin!
There are two other poems. They are so old that they’ve been following me around for years. Indeed, one of them gave me the title for my first book. ‘Sofa Phobia’ is a true poem about my own phobia of common sofas, and ‘Moist Robot’ is about a robot which sweats a lot. It seems that every few months I might rewrite one or both of these. The problem, again, is that they seem too high concept.
But I’m plugging away at them.
So for now, here’s another high concept poem which I might come back to. It’s about tortoises.

Bringing the tortoise out of hibernation.

Wake up tortoise wake up.

Four months of slumber now he’s ready for the summer.

Wake up tortoise wake up.

Enmeshed in hay, time to see if he’s okay

Wake up tortoise wake up.
All winter tiptoeing around the bastard.

Don’t wake the tortoise, that’s what I kept repeating,

Shaking my fist at low flying planes

And castigating anyone who sneezes loudly

That amorous couple upstairs

Whose lovemaking wakes me,

Banging on the walls shouting, Don’t wake the tortoise!

To which she shouts back,

That’s what I’ve been trying to do all night!

And he replies, That’s it, you’ve put me right off, now.

Wake up tortoise wake up.
Your life is a mystery, Mister Tortoise,

You don’t tell me anything about yourself.

All those years I spent

Trying to get you to come out of your shell.

Wake up tortoise wake up.
Your such a good imparter of wisdom.

We hang on your every word.

I’ve never forgotten the lessons that you taught us,

Mr Tortoise,

Or those shopping expeditions,

The things that you bought us,

Mr Tortoise.

Or the fishing trips to the riverbank

The things that you caught us,

Mr Tortoise,

Or the myriad of times we were lost

And you sought us

Mr Tortoise,

Or the times that we fell out

And you fought us,

Mr Tortoise,

Or that lovely iron gate

That you wrought us,

Mr Tortoise.

You look nothing like a porpoise,

Mr Tortoise.

(I’ve run out of rhymes).

Wake up tortoise wake up.
I hope you don’t mind

But my mate Jeff borrowed you

Mid January

And gaffer taped you to his forehead

So he could go to a Star Trek convention

As a Klingon.

He met Uhura.

Wake up tortoise wake up.
You just sleep there,

Don’t worry about me.

You just have yourself a little snooze,

I’ve got figures to crack on with,

And a job and rent to pay

And a boss who’s got a face like a 

Warthog with a slapped arse

And an ex who keeps

Sitting outside my flat

In his Mazda

You just sleep there tortoise tortoise 

Slumbering through Christmas which means

You missed my aunt getting drunk on sherry

For the eighth straight year

And all those repeats

You just sleep there

I’m okay

Because the earth it spins on it’s axis

And the stars align one more time

And the seasons crack on as if fate

Were but a ghost hanging with a finger

Outstretched saying, hey, you,

Your life on this earth is but a fraction of a second,

A minusule nothing in history.

Wake up tortoise wake up.
Wakey wakey

Tortoise tortoise

Reminds me

I must go out some time

And buy a 

Cornish pasty.