out from the sun

out from the sun.
blazing hot.
blazing fast.
I should have been
but never mind that.

travel with me.

I first pass Mercury
named for the swift-footed
Messenger God
for his 88 day trip ’round the sun
He’s not really that fast…
just has a smaller orbit than everyone else.
Smoke and mirrors, man.
As the smallest of planets,
sticking next to the “Big Guy”
with a temperature swing of 1100 degrees
from day to night,
he needs a better name.

See ya, Janus.

Oh, dear Venus
Such a misleading name.
Goddess of love and beauty,
But she’s a deadly temptress
Eternal rain of sulphuric acid
would drench and burn all inhabitants
had they not been crushed by the
92 Bar, if that means anything.
Oh, and a “day”
is longer than a year…
Perhaps “love” is

Which is why I’ll be leaving.

Passing home with pangs of longing,
is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Supposedly habitable
she’s better than anything else I’ve seen so far.
How long, though,
before she ought to be named Venus?
Extreme heat and poison rain are here
and will get worse.
Sorry to be a buzzkill.
Not named for a God – interesting, that.
Perhaps because as much as we’d like to think so,
there’s nothing really Supernatural about her?

I’ll keep flying and hope she’s still here
when I get back.

Mars captures our imagination
like nothing else
Likely because we’ll need some place to go
when we finish ruining earth.
He’s named for the God of War,
so I’m not sure we’re picking the best
At least a Mars “day” is only 37 minutes longer
than what we’re used to on Earth
So we’ve got that going for us,
which is nice.

I may come back for another visit
and keep looking for Life.

Appropriately named
I had to get more than halfway
through the solar system
to find him,
The King of Gods.
He’s twice the mass of all other planets
and has 75 moons orbiting in worship
This is a planet with his act together,
except for that 150 year old storm
with 400 mph winds.
That’s gotta suck.
But he’s a king, so he can do and be
whatever he wants.
I’m a little jealous – not gonna lie.

My outbound journey ruefully continues…

Saturn is such a cool planet
Gotta love those mysterious rings
But named for the god of Agriculture?
Maybe they were running out of gods…
I could spend a few “days” here
and only use a little more than 30 hours.
He’s a fast spinner, this one.
But if I want to wait for my birthday,
I could be waiting up to 30 years.
Both good and bad, depending on
Like I said –
Cool Planet.
And Cold.
I’m getting a long
way from where I started.
Immolation inside our Star
is looking more attractive.

And further out I go.

A wonky planet in so many ways,
so our earth jokes are apropos.
Veering from the Roman god thing,
Uranus is the
but has clouds that smell like rotten eggs
as it rotates east to west
with an equator from pole to pole
instead of a belt around the middle.
Sounds like heaven, right?

Two more planets
(one and a half?)
I best keep moving…

god of Water
Another one they named correctly
it’s blue and full of icy slush
3 out of 9 planets which have decent names…
looks like my kid’s math grade.
So, basically, we fail at planet naming.
Just an observation.
Fun fact: it was the first planet
“discovered” by mathematics.
before it could be Seen.
Better minds than mine at work…

It’s cold out here

Speaking of cold,
poor Pluto.
in or out?
planet or “dwarf”?
I know how it feels not to belong
so even at the edge of the solar system,
I sort of feel at home.
Named for the Roman god of the underworld
I’d expect more heat,
but it’s frigid.
As god-brother to Zeus and Poseiden
you’d expect a better gig than
ninth notsureifyou’reaplanetornot
from the sun
another fun fact:
His orbit criss-crosses with Neptune’s
and occasionally nudges him
into eighth place.
Assuming you call him a planet at all.
If people kept doubting my status,
I’d probably step in front of Neptune

My trip is complete.
I’ve seen all there is to see
without switching systems.
Time to fly home
to Earth

“Die Erde
German for “the ground.”
but I guess I’ll take it.

If it’s still there.

Maybe switching systems isn’t a bad idea
after all.

Another tough one from Frank this week: Your theme is you are a spaceship travelling out from the sun and visiting all the planets of the solar system. Explore your emotions as you pass each by using the characteristics (both actual and implied) of the planets. Go in order, and you should also count Pluto.

About #FFFocus:

Frank Chloupek holds a PhD in Physics from The Ohio State University. We have been friends since our undergraduate days at Michigan State University over 30 years ago.

Frank hates poetry

(except for any and all Limericks about a certain boy from Nantucket).

He provides challenges, topics, themes, rules to guide whatever gets put together on Fridays.

If you would like to join the weekly challenge, feel free! Just reference “Frank’s Friday Focus” (#FFFocus) on your own page, provide a pingback (paste the URL link someplace in your post) to this page, and copy/paste the link to your entry into the comment section below.

Thanks, and have fun!


    1. It was fun, and nothing I would EVER have done apart from a challenge prompt. I think it may be something I’ll live with a while and edit. I’d like to give it a little more poetic consistency. It’s pretty prose-y right now.


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