Issue 50 – Ghosts in Space

ghosts of dead stars shine
illuminating way home
planet long since dead

By DJ Tyrer

Coming Through on Channel Two
By Cardinal Cox

Voskhod Three – monitored at Kettering
Grammar School – heating failed
cosmonaut froze – N1 rocket
that should have taken
it round the Moon instead
dropped the capsule into
L4 orbit – where energetic
particles in the gravity well
flood the spacesuit – find
fresh home in deceased’s
nervous system – becomes
a super conductor – re–awakening
some spectral functions
broadcasting numbers – coming
through on channel two


Cal Rogers and the ghost plane in space
By Mark Hudson

Cal Rogers was one of the first American pilots,
after the Wright Brothers created flying.
Flying from New York over California islets,
in the process of flying he began dying.

On his first flight, a race for a money prize,
he crashed into a chicken, coop, busted his skull.
The following day crows attacked him in the skies,
the next day lightning downed him with gravity pull.

In Arizona, Rodgers crashed and broke a leg.
He flew, an exploded cylinder put shrapnel in his face.
Never to give up, his fans would always brag,
but his final destination would be space.

He was flying to the Pacific Shore,
he chased seagulls when one got stuck in the rudder.
With a neck broken, he was no more,
there were no final words to mutter.

But now his ghost plane rides through space,
Captain Cal Buck Rogers is his nickname.
He fights Martian ships like an ace,
sending the Martian shapes down in flames.

American hero, resurrected from the dead,
his ghost plane flies through the universe.
Outer space is his final homestead,
sending the Martians home in a hearse.

Forever he is a planet protector,
with particles of atomic dust destroying foes.
He haunts space as a permanent spectre,
a ghost plane wandering in space to and fro.


Distress Call
By K. A. Williams

“Captain,” said Aldis. “There’s something out here besides us.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Negative. It’s up ahead and broadcasting a distress call.”

“Play me the message.”

“We’re only getting audio. It’s alien, and the computer is translating it. Okay, it’s ready now, I’ll play it.”

“Please help us. Radiation leak. Can’t fix. Need to leave ship, but only shuttle damaged. Please help…”

“Message keeps repeating,” Aldis said.

“Okay, let’s help, we’ve got plenty of room on this freighter for passengers. Let’s gear up in radiation suits and–”

“Captain, I’ve analyzed the message further. It’s over two hundred years old.”


Starship Spectre
By Harris Coverley

ghost in the machine —
pity it’s navigation
stuck between the stars
going where the ghost wants to —
a dead star – captain’s vengeance

Light Years Ago
By David Edwards

Are not
the stars we see
really nothing but ghosts?
A visible remnant of what used
to be?

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