Two Poems — Wonder of wonders

S K Bhatnagar

Shri S.K.Bhatnagar was born in 1937 and brought up at Beawar, Rajasthan. After post-graduation in Botany from Ajmer, he dabbled in agricultural aesearch for a couple of years and then became a lecturer for a short period. He started his career as a civil servant in the Rajasthan Administrative Service. He joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1961 and retired in 1999 as the President of the Customs Tribunal.

Shri Bhatnagar's interests lie in the field of biology, literature and mythology. Under the pen name of Santosh Ratan, he prefers to write on scientific topics in poetic format instead of prose. He likes to draw illustrations from Indian mythology and that too in both English and Hindi. He has published 6 books so far — two in English and four bilingually, including poems on the natural wonders of the world. One of his books, Jeev Jagat Ki Aadharshila has been published in paper format while the others are online at and


  1. Prayer to Apollo & Athena
  2. Cosmological Wonders

Prayer to Apollo & Athena

! Apollo O! Athena Minerva Muse
accept our greetings and be amused
bless us as you blessed the ancients
Greeks and Romans of the times of old
showering them with blessings multi fold
of knowledge and wisdom untold 
great thoughts and greater far sight
inspiring them with ideas and insight 

with keen observation of Nature
bringing out its fascinating grandeur
science and art of beautiful expression
skills and crafts of many a profession

O! virgin Minerva pretty deity of peace and war
accept this little offering at thy grand altar
of a bouquet extolling the Wonders of Nature
expressing expounding poetically their
Beauty and grandeur.

May it inspire men to achieve greater heights
make their future brilliant and bright.

Santosh ‘Ratan’

Cosmological Wonders

I have not ceased to wonder
at the natures ways and vicissitudes
admiring their awesome nature
with eyes wide open and respectful attitude

For at every step of its progression
something or the other happens, in succession
which surprises and astonishes one
at every twist and turn in blissful contemplation.

Once stars were formed and arrayed
in the fast expanding space in various ways
and galaxies full of many billions of them
appeared on the screen of observable region
astronomers tried to peep and pry during exploration
of the when and how of their formation.

With the aid of their telescopic view and vision
they traced the path of our Sun through the Milky way
found it revolving round the heart of our galactic sway
orbiting along with its planetary system in a way
which posed many questions and answered few that way
And gave us food for thought in more than one way.

How the sun continues to ‘walk leisurely’ through out ?
going slowly in circles in a sort of round about
moving through the arms of our spiraling galaxy
with! or without! being much disturbed by the stars nearby !

Oh How planets were formed from the Solar nebula,
the proto planetary disc of dust and gas orbiting, the
proto star, by accretion! and collisions! bye and bye !
and acquired forms and features in which they specialize.

It appears from scientific observation, computation
and vision
That :
First outer larger planets were formed one by one
and then the inner ones assumed their form singul
and all got arranged in a definite pattern uniquely
over a long period of time, and after much adjustment
got aligned in the present format and style accordingly

moving in well defined orbits at the distances they now occupy
with much less mass and much more momentum than the parent Sun
And all this within its gravitational field and magnetosphere
each at a different angle and rotating with different velocity
revolving in its specified axis round the sun magnificently
some in anticlockwise and some in clockwise direction
that is some in prograde and some in retrograde motion
with so much differences in mass volume and composition

4 inner smaller ones being hot, dense, metallic and rocky,
4 outer ones larger massive but less dense, gaseous and icy
the whole system wearing one belt of asteroids almost midway
and another, kuiper’s belt, like a felt hat’s brim far far away
with a coat of Oort cloud guarding the gate way of heliosphere
at the junction with the deeper inter stellar space of our own
galactic sphere.

And each of these has special features of its own :

First planet :

the ‘Messenger of the Gods’ the smallest one
hot and poke marked ‘Mercury’, orbiting nearest the Sun,
shows extreme tempers moving on in its eccentric path merrily
in a thin atmosphere while loaded with an iron core internally.

The second :

named after ‘The Roman goddess of love and beauty’

‘Venus’ because it looks beautiful shining very brightly;
similar to earth in size and composition but not so sisterly
being extremely hot, dry and rocky going on orbiting leisurely
and boasting of pancake volcanoes, very high pressure, dense
CO2 atmosphere,and poisonous H2SO4 clouds in reality.

Third :
the ‘Earth’- blue green, with white fluffy coat of clouds
rivers, lakes and oceans of liquid water and lush with green jungles
the only one hospitable to Life, as we know it, and not surprisingly so
with supporting temperature, N 2:O 2 atmosphere, carbon and other
essentials, and a moon in attendance of this gorgeous lady we prize
still hiding how it got water first and how it first gave rise to life..

Fourth :
The ‘ Red planet’ the ‘god of war’ ‘Mars’ is a desert actually
known for its red iron oxide soil and imaginary ‘Martians’ easily
boasting of the highest mountains,thin co2 atmosphere, ice caps
of dry and wet ice, large craters, deepest and longest canyons,
raging dust storms, elliptical orbit and a couple of small moons.
but more known for the fictions about it centering on
the possibility of life, imaginary ‘canals’ made by
‘aliens’ ruled by a ‘princess’ and ‘war’ like goings on.

Fifth one :
the ‘King of Gods’ Jupiter, a King among planets really
with a ‘large heart’ of liquid metallic hydrogen, in the interior
and rapped mainly in cold hydrogen and helium in the exterior
with an over coat of royal colourful bands or belts of clouds,
high winds and a halo of faint rings like brim of hats in reality
this large gas ball goes on revolving on its orbit pretty speedily
along with the largest number of satellites in solar system actually.

Sixth :
Saturn ‘the God of Agriculture’ in roman mythology is really
a ‘princess’ among planets –bright and beautiful physically;

Actually a large hydrogen helium gas ball very similar to Jupiter
in composition, including liquid metallic hydrogen core in the interior
significant magnetic field, colourful cloud bands, high winds in the exterior
and many moons but differing in having very bright thin rings
for which it is famous from ancient times; but this shy princess
is the only one which does not care to blink or twinkle naughtily.

Uranus-the Seventh:

A ‘Greek God ‘relative of Saturn’ is also a big gas ball but frozen one
bluish in colour, made of hydrogen and helium and a bit of methane,
bands of clouds,and dark rings, having quite a few moons but known
mainly for tilted axis and an odd magnetic field which distinguishes
this one.

Neptune the eighth:

The ‘God of the Sea’ also an icy, blue gas ball like Neptune
with which it changed places during the course of evolution
and made similarly of hydrogen,helium and little methane,
several faint rings and a dozen or so moons with good fortune
but known mainly for very high velocity winds,rich blue hue;
and its being the farthest and coldest major planet is also true.

Apart from these the five dwarf ones and many moons along with
thousands upon thousands of rocky icy small heavenly bodies in the
asteroid belt, big disk shaped Kuipers belt or huge round Oorts cloud
all play important role in tear shaped heliosphere in an interesting way
with beautiful moons affecting the planets they orbit in their rounds,
the asteroids being the probable first source of water on earth some say
and the last two a source of the comets which occasionally pass us by;

And all these with Sun are like a dot
moving merrily round and round
in our galaxy along with billion other star systems
with some of them having extra solar planets
only increases our curiosity by leaps and bounds.

They take some fundamental old issues to greater heights
Are their other ‘solar systems’ like ours one ?, wins the prize
Are their living beings or forms similar or different from ours
else where in the universe ? still poses a big challenge to us.

Our space probes to planets, kuiper belt,Oorts cloud and beyond
and space telescope’s sights enabling us to observe much beyond
our galaxy in deeper space s of observable universe raises hopes
that tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, sooner or later there after
Man may succeed in solving this riddle after all,once for all.

but even the scientific research and discoveries made so far
are achievements of great magnitude and opened a grand vista
unsurpassed in beauty and full of wonders never seen before
but while thanking scientists and Man’s ingenuity we can only say
My goodness what a scenario has unfolded before our eye(s)
{punctuated by their interpretation of the events in the sky (s) }
for all that used to be imagined,dreamt and visualized by
generations after generations for centuries upon centuries by
Men who were wise, has been undone by astronomers in a trice :
Poets used to sing song of heavens for its tranquility, peace and poise
and praise it for apparent orderly peaceful pleasant happenings time wise
Men used to pray looking for rest in the heavenly abode after life;

but all that has now gone by the wind
with the picture which has now emerged
of catastrophic events, great explosions
collisions and chance hits and runs;
of cycles of life- birth, growth and death
of suns and stars, planets and the moons
timely, according to each ones destined fate
(almost as in our own worlds goings on till date )

Although it is no longer what we dreamt of it to be,
at the same it is full of wonders and beauty
that this by itself is good enough to thank ‘Him’
the invisible mighty grand Maker and Mover
of all this and all that we as yet do not know…

Santosh ‘Ratan’

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