I wrote this poem about asteroid mining as
if it had
fallen through a wormhole into my brain from a century from now. It's
done in the manner of cowboy and trucker poetry... in the voice of
'talk like a pirate' Fridays!
Oh a lowly Belter I be,
living amongst the 'roids and rocks.
Within the confines of me ship...
when I ain't pissed up in the docks.
Silver Ballet's me good ship's name,
that lovely dancer of the ways.
Her fusion drive be neat and clean,
but her hull... it's seen better days.
She wears the marks of re-fit proud
with the pocks of impacts minor.
Silver-gray like what we hunts down,
she's a beauty... ain't none finer.
See, what we does is looks for ore
between the war-god and the King.
Ain't nothing but old bits and pieces
do make their orbits in that ring.
We sets our course on hunch and whim,
us miners... we got this here knack.
Nav'ing by the seats of our suits,
you lose it... you ain't coming back!
So when we closes on our prey
the spectrograph tells us the tale.
Whether we gots a mother lode...
or it's time to hit that old trail.
If we turns up a high-mass rock
I gets me arse into gear.
Out the 'lock to sets the charges,
just me... and luck... and fate... and fear!
Placement and timing of the blast,
that be the toughest job indeed.
But then we can send her clear to hell...
or to Ceres or Ganymede!
I goes through all the final checks
and gets me and old Silver clear.
Then we gives that old as...te...roid
a megaton kick in the rear!
And when that rock be tracked and logged
we flares off for the nearest port.
There, I changes me creds for booze,
a mission I never abort!
Why I ties one on in the docks
should be clear as your visor's plate.
You can't be hammered on your run
or you push it with luck and fate.
Death... it be always close at hand,
just that one mistake... and you're gone!
Always flying Occam's laser,
it be fear... that keeps the edge on!
Belt mining life be cut three ways:
the lonely cruising 'tween the ends,
bursts of work to give you blisters...
then laughing it up with your friends.
Wondering why we trips alone
with our ships as mate and mother?
It be harder to kill ourselves...
than to be... to off... each other!