Monday, August 22, 2016


Homage to Space Opera

Supersonic Rocketeers

Under the crust of the next planet
we found an entire civilization that was
utterly unaware of the outer world.
The Dashing Captain struck a pose,
and romanced a Virgin Queen with his
hard, tanned, body.
He pressed his raygun to her chest,
threatened incineration unless his guards
released the Young Ensign.
She gave a subtle sign and the adamantine pikes
ground their butts into the same floor
that received hers later that night.

The Young Ensign went exploring,
beating off albino cave girls,
found the secret laboratory in which The Evil Dr.
was vivisecting the First Mate.
Alarm! Alarm! Intergalactic horror!
We put a stop to this, by dam,
muttered the Crotchety Engineer, and he
and the ensign wrecked havoc in the Doomed Citadel,
exterminating a race that was composing rhymed
and metered poetry when our ancestors
were eating their own feces and
each other in dank, lightless caves.

They rescued the Dashing Captain from the alarming
clutches of the Virgin Queen
and beat a hasty retreat,
while the Second Engineer was firing up
the fusion thrusters.
As soon as they were aboard she
flung the ship into the sky.

The Wounded Captain was indisposed,
and the Second Mate took the conn.
It was her chance to shine, and she
did some pretty fine navigating out of the
Hymenopterous Cluster her very first try.
We were all so proud,
And even the Wilted Captain felt better.

Alas, when the eggs hatched,
the Dashing Captain was irretrievably spoiled,
and the Second Mate
had to carry on without him.

END of poem

Previously published, Strange Horizons, 2004; Luminous Worlds, 2013 (

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