Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
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Space Trash, Scowboys

by Richard Tornello


Unsung heroes of civilizations,
societies’ triangular based,
schleping trash and waste,
to one far away sun, where there erased.

Pass by the death/smell/bow-shock of one small planet,
a place where no sane inhabit,
occasional vaporization here and,
life is short, gritty and bare.
Stench compounded, compacted.

Load jettisoned,
but still fermented,
clawing to the ship’s skin is flybys death-scent embedded,
clawing to the ship’s skin,
from the place where no sane inhabit.

flying through the deep continuum,
safety’s always at a minimum.
Ships’ a wreck,
the social contract plays,
the hauling constant, and never ending days.

Chapter I

Flying high, flying low
stinky ships on the go.
Relieve our planets of our wastage
And dump it in uncharted places.

Flying high; flying low.
Flying fast,
never slow.
Paid by the load,
not on the clock,
pulse jets idle/throbbing @ the docks.

Flying high, flying low,
airlock barely holding own.
Shaky crafts, let maintenance go,
until the gauges show
needles to the red line tilts
and from gravity’s clutch,
the ships can’t lift.

What were once bright and shiny crafts,
high end ships, the pride and fast,
are now foul, abused, and swill spill trashed.

No one plans for this career.
For careless captains that can’t fly true,
in arrears with payments due
repo-man at the gate
find a job before too late.

Flying high, flying home,
Their ships are rank and stink to hell.
Ten orbits out, the sensors tell,
their odor, that stench, oh that smell,
toxic waste, in space-time hell.
The stench hangs thick on the airlock doors.
Refueling duty, a job alone
on uniforms, and in their pores.
Refueling job takes no skill
so human factors fill the bill.

Add insult to injury on the bill
the galley’s broken, no grub to fill.
And empty stomachs fly on pills.

Their ships are rank and stink to hell.
Ten orbits out, the sensors tell,
their odor, that stench, oh that smell,
toxic waste, in time-space hell.

Convicts seeking a reprieve
gladly from their confinement leave
volunteer a tour or three
If they make it one full year,
sentences lifted, to home and cheer.

Chapter II

Flying high, flying….
flying in formation?
Ships are clean, no radiation?
What’s all this we now do see?
A new black fleet, so nice, so neat.

These ships are quick and lightening fast
The stink of old is something past.
How’d they learn to do that trick?
A secret sauce, a magician’s stick?

A new boss is in this space
With rules and facilities all in place.
Take the contract or fly no more.
The black fleet’s golden garbage galore.
Learn their way and methodology
Dumping loads so prof -it-tabil-ity.

Many ships too wrecked to join?
Purchase new ones? short of coin?
New and special legislation.
Money buys the next election,
and puts the weight on generations.

Debt to generation’s future:
“No more worries, just sign here sir.
Live a life, pay through time, sir.
And what you can’t your progeny will find, sir
upon their life,
will work your job, sir.”

(And whispering in no ones ear)
“To the generations, chains that hob, sir”

Flying high and flying fine.
The rules are tight with laws that bind
Just don’t screw up
or you’re off line.

In uniforms so bright, so clean,
flying high and flying proud.
Actions speak, need not be loud.
From stem to stern, beam to beam
they take no guff, they’re hard and mean,
in uniforms so bright, so clean.

No stops for joy, no stops for breaks
Crews are doubled, constant wakes.
Dump your loads, about the face
back for more,
the clean ship’s race.

Flying high and flying fast.
New bosses concept from self made test.
( from affects of drugs instead of grub
could have been a disaster to a vaporized mess)
He put his ship and him to best.
To the sun’s corona, a chance, a bet,
burned the bow shock’s stench and left.
The ship turned black,
but no more stink.
He had a concept and made it slick.

A sun proof, slide-off, for his boat.
And no more skunky ships a-floated.

No more scorn, no derision,
Pilots want to join division.
First to come were first to serve,
all the rest held in reserve

All the planets, they have to pay.
There just ain’t no other way.
High called living, for all who play.
Scowboys® ratings are AAA.

© 2011 Richard Tornello

Find more by Richard Tornello in the Author Index.

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