Accessing the Powers of the Solar System
An Invocation for All Fertility Treatments
by Erica Gillingham
as featured on 'Devotion', Short Cuts, BBC Radio 4
on 4 June 2022
We, who are indebted to the advancement of science,
call on the mighty powers and forces of the solar system
to transform the improbable actuality of life’s beginning
for just an instant, on this day of momentous potential.
We supplicate to the greatest of living oceans at our shores
its cavernous riches only recently illuminated for terrestrial beings
but existing for millennia with bioluminescence, from microscopic
single-celled organisms to deep-sea leviathans.
We raise an incantation to the great gas clouds of Venus
raining down sulphuric acid that never touches the surface
with temperatures so high, atmospheric pressure so crushing
winds churning heat, its tilt creating giant polar vortexes.
We incite the eruptive legacy of the red planet Mars
with the largest-known volcano in the cosmos, oozing lava
for hundreds of billions of years to astound modern-day
astronomers, its steady presence determining its greatness.
We summon the magnitude of Jupiter’s lightning storm
incomprehensible to the most precise human calculations
a swirling crimson spot on the scale of our perfect planet
with a moon whose rivers run magnificent with mercury.
We beseech the gigantic icy solidity of cerulean Neptune
found by mathematical prediction, not empirical observation
its presence effecting the orbit of neighbouring celestial bodies
fourteen moons, collisional fragmentation creating five arcing rings.
We, who are beholden to meticulously-planned miracles,
implore the heavens for a glimmer of infinitesimal presence
in that instant when you might light up the monitor like a shooting star
and land here with us, cosmic whispers of the universe.