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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

06 November 2023

Posted by Tabby Hayward

Space Oddity

This week's workshop was led by Rohan Gotobed in Tabby's absence, and we returned to the theme of space, freewriting as we listened to some 'space pop' - Rocketman by Elton John, 'Starman' by David Bowie and 'Space Oddity' by David Bowie - which then became the focus for the rest of the workshop, as the writers were inspired by the song to write a monologue or dialogue from someone in space losing contact with 'ground control.' 

Charlotte's piece:

“Can you hear me Major Tom?”

Those words kept repeating over and over as it began to cut out letter by letter each time. It
was losing signal.

Communication had already been down for the last week before I had left. I didn’t say

anything at the time because I didn’t want to let everyone down if the mission had been
cancelled. Everyone had worked so hard for this, I couldn’t let it just blow up in their faces.
True with no communication and oxygen at startlingly low levels, I have no idea what I’m
going to do.

The last words they had said before the communication began to cut out were “There’s
something wrong.” Not exactly the words to fill you with confidence! You try not to think
about the worst case scenario back home on earth but some part of your brain can’t help it.

No, I can't think about that now.

There’s too much to do back on earth. Too many people are relying on me.

I’ve got to tell Jesse that his calculations had been correct even though everyone had told
him otherwise. Of course there’s Lucy and Roxanne waiting to hear if their star maps were
right all along. And Simon…..

I have to get back. I don’t care how and I don’t care what it takes. I have to get back. Control
needs to figure someway….


I need to figure some way out of this.

Jesse deserves to know he’s right. Lucy and Roxanne deserve validation. Even Commander
Bowie deserves one of his missions to go right for once.

I try everything and I mean EVERYTHING. Recrossing the wires, maybe one of them had
blown a fuse or something. No not that.

Maybe I had just gone out of range of the satellite. So I moved the shuttle a little to see if I
could pick it up again but it wasn’t that either. I could only put it down to a meteor strike or
something I’d never even think of.

I place my hands down on the console. I had tried at least. At least everyone back home
could say I had tried.


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