Seven hundred million trillion
Stars of habitation
Possible to species such as ours –
Stars so placed within their solar system
Of life-forms like our own
So why the unearthly silence?
Do they understand too well
Our language works on several levels
Concealing as it seemingly reveals?
They are cautiously translating
The Voyager’s ‘Golden Record’
Our gift – “To the makers of music –
All worlds and to All times”
Their Intelligence assesses
‘Dark Was the Night
Cold Was the Ground…’
‘Go Johnny Go
Go Johnny B Goode…’
To sketch their considered reply –
“Why no Wardell Gray?
Since we do resemble so you say
That ‘Thin Gray Cat’?
Howard McGhee you Go ‘who he?’
You have ‘no eyes’
For Hampton Hawes?
Go Go ‘Raise Up Off Me!’
You Go space-time in old-time wax?
Wax-you old-time Slaver Planetation? –
Vinyl spiral forget-me-knots?
History let slip in chain-link loops! –
Dark Was? Cold Was? No Afro-Blue?
No Future but ‘A Dream Deferred’?
Coltrane yourself to love supreme in truth –
Go Johnny Yourself Earth Angel
Go Johnny Ace and Go
Go All You Need is Love Johnny
Go Tainted Love A-Go-Go
Get Well Soon Go Johnny!
Good-buy God-bye we Leaven you Diddley-bye
Black-hole cat-flaps form in outer space –
Felines styling fish-bowl pill-box hats
Sight-see Earth from saucers
Gape at Hampstead residents
Tucked-up in their habitat
Safe-assured in Hampstead mental cages
Fish and chips from white and yellow tubes?
Or vegan spice-mice capsules?
A micro-pill of well-to-do bohemia?
Pick up your brochure to
Our pan-galactic zoo
Illustration: Claire Palmer