dVerse: Quadrille #169 (A Star [Poem] is Born)

The dVerse challenge was to write a poem of precisely 44 words, not counting the title, including some form of the word star. I used the plural form.

Celestial Navigation

Way back,
before cell phones, Google,
moving maps,
and satellite navigation.

At Mather Air Force Base
near Sacramento,
I studied
stars, planets, the moon, and Sun
using a sextant, books, and computations.

The Planetarium was our classroom.
Navigators are no longer taught. It’s sad.

Look both ways looking at the night sky.
Magellan did.
Mind the gaps in the sky as you learn the names of stars, planets, and constellations.

42 thoughts on “dVerse: Quadrille #169 (A Star [Poem] is Born)

      1. I know, but I like to think that on that day where all hell breaks loose and nothing works, in comes that person who says: Yo! We gotta go old school!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I love your quadrille … recently returned from a month in Florida including a visit to Kennedy Space Center … OH the stars, the stars in massive displays, IMAX films! I could have spent days there. I envy your early education, what that meant to you, the impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s really funny that we draw imaginary lines from star to star, call them constellations. Oh, look! A scorpion! Bears, big and small! Look out for that archer guy!.

    Nice work. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, The arrangement of stars helps to find others. We even made some up, “The Arc of Capella,” for example. To this day, I use the big dipper to find Polaris (aka, north star). 🙂


  3. I think too many non-digital things are being cast away with arrogance? ignorance? and many times will come back to bite us later. I remember my ex- used to have to do math on a slide rule when he was in college, but since they have designed scientific calculators, I’m guessing nobody uses them anymore. When the electricity goes we are in trouble. Nice to see you at dVerse, Bill. Hope to see you here again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa.
      The Air Force no longer uses the “navigator” designation. They are trained differently and called “CSOs” (Combat Systems Operators).

      I remember all the engineering majors with holsters for slide rules flopping on their sides.
      I used one for flying computations, but it is circular. Technology is fine, but do we have to toss everything else?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s so much light pollution it’s hard to even see the stars in many places.

    I hate GPS. I’m always telling Lyft drivers to go a different (better) way than the GPS suggests–it has no sense of space or direction at all. I also like to look at a real map of where I’m going so I can orient myself. I need visual clues.
    But I’m old, and I grew up using maps. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an extraordinary skill to have. How incredibly sad to think people will no longer learn it. I hope there are sailors out there who still understand the old ways of navigating.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too was in that generation, nice lament. But, . . . . the computers know and someone
    has to be able to teach the computer. We an air defense missile control computer, it was analog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Technology is a gift and a curse. I also miss the old mechanical cars and motorcycles, where all you needed were hand-held tools to repair them unlike today where everything has a computer mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still work on my cars, motorcycles, and bicycles in my garage. It is different. The skills I reference are learnable and the books are available on line. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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