“Sun-Star Far” by Celia Berrell

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Sun-Star Far

(distance matters) 


Our Solar Sun’s diameter’s 

four hundred times as wide as Moon’s. 

Its distance from the Earth’s about 

four hundred times as far. 


So when we look up in the sky 

at night-time then again at noon 

the Moon appears exactly as 

the same size as our star. 


Although our Sun-star’s really huge 

compared to Moon’s small sphere 

it’s far enough away from us 

to look the same down here!



“Battle of the Bulge” by Celia Berrell


Battle of the Bulge

(Earth-Moon gravity) 


Like many love relationships 

the Earth and Moon are falling out. 

Despite their great attractiveness 

there’s friction they don’t talk about. 


When first they met, they twirled and danced. 

Their gravitation’s fondness showed. 

But by degrees, as time has passed 

rotations of their dance have slowed. 


The Moon no longer pirouettes 

within her orbit round the Earth. 

Instead one side is always set 

to face the world (and watch his girth).


Their gravity distorts their crusts 

and makes them bulge at closest side. 

Earth’s oceans rise as though to thrust 

a beckoned hand to Moon’s fine pride. 


For she creates the ebbs and flows 

of all the seas that make our tides. 

But honestly, that friction slows 

her down and makes her really tired!


Four centimetres every year 

she moves away from Earth’s embrace. 

Our Moon is drifting off, I fear, 

and nothing else could take her place.


from The Science Rhymes Book – second edition (Jabiru Publishing 2018)


Valued Gifts

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Valued Gifts 

Perhaps the most enduring gifts

from Christmas-tide festivities

are not the items bought in shops

but things that make prized memories.


From moments filled with laughter at

some zany fun activity

to having simply helped someone

through using our proclivity.


Your Grandma will delight in any

art or craftwork made by you.

Our love and personality are

captured in the things we do.


Our presence time and talents shared

are valued gifts both rich and wise.

They’re cherished in fond memories

much more than any merchandise.


It is always wonderful to receive a valued gift – especially at Christmas.  Something made with care from a family member is a grandmother’s treasure.  But sometimes we are bought things we don’t really need or want, then get in a bother about what to do with them.  Would you pass those kinds of gifts to someone who might enjoy them more?

by Celia Berrell


“A Clean Green Christmas” by Celia Berrell


“Twas the night before Christmas.

No cards have been sent.

No presents are wrapped,

there’s no tree to augment.

No air tickets purchased

to family events.

If we choose to “go green”

well that’s what is meant.


Instead, give to charity,

make our own jam

to give to the family

rather than ham.

Avoid plastic tinsel.

As home decorator

only use hand-made

from wool, wood or paper.


The night before Christmas

we chose to go green

and help to keep Earth’s

environment clean.


inspired by the New Scientist’s article on how to HAVE A GREEN CHRISTMAS


“Happy New Year MU69” by Celia Berrell with notes

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On the eighth day of Christmas (1st January), New Horizons (the space probe that took photos of dwarf planet Pluto back in July 2015) will be 6.6 billion kilometres from Earth, travelling at 14 kilometres per second, flying past a rock about 37 kilometres wide called 2014 MU69 (nick-named Ultima Thule) in the solar system’s Kuiper Belt.  If it doesn’t bump into anything on the way, we will receive images from its cameras just over six hours after they are taken.  This is an incredible technological adventure with cosmologically amazing consequences.  What an exciting way to start the New Year!