During the International Meteor Conference of 2007
in Bareges (Pyrenees, France),
on June 9th the participants visited one of the highest
European observatories, Pic du Midi (2877m altitude).


-A dedication to the French astronomers
Francois Colas and Jeremie Vaubaillon,
the main organizers of the
International Meteor Conference 2007-

Jeremie Vaubaillon (France; 1), Jean Marc Wislez (Belgium; 3),
Jos Nijland (Holland; 4, 9), Detlef Koschny (Germany/Holland; 5),
Valentin Grigore (Romania; 2, 6, 7, 12, 16),
Luc Bastiaens (Belgium; 8, 13), Katia Koleva (Bulgaria; 14),
Mihail Robescu (Romania; 10, 11)
Cristina Tinta (Romania, 15)
Gabriel Ivanescu (Romania)


The Mountains in Spring
-by Geoffrey H. Grayer (U.K.)-

I tramp along the trail leading up the hill;
The sun beats down upon me, and it's strong enough to kill!
My shirt's tied round my waist and my hat's upon my head,
My legs are bare, my feet wear boots which squeak at every tread.

I enter woodland tracks: Oh welcome, Blessed Shade!
As tall gaunt pines surround me, a fragrant air is made.
The rocky path is covered with water running clear;
Above the snow, still melting, goes for another year.

I climb for ever upward, a steady rising slope;
My breath comes fast, my stride it lengthens to a lope.
Soon I must emerge from this muddy, punishing trail...
All at once a glade appears, as hope begins to fail.

Emerging from dark forest, the summer pasture bright
Stretches upward, onward, cows not yet in sight.
Flowers, dainty, spreading, their colours like paint run
And here and there a patch of snow, where shaded from the sun.

Though the sun's still hot, still the air's become more cool.
I stop to put my shirt on, for sunburn, it's the rule.
I rest to sip some water and eat a crust of bread;
I look at map and compass to check where track has led.

The stony path is indistinct, but the direction's clear.
In front, the peak juts skyward, rugged but quite near.
Soon the rocks grow bigger, some scrambling must be done -
This part brings some danger, but also is great fun.

Now the going's slower, I fight for every breath.
The steps are steep, and here and there a fall could lead to death.
It's not so very difficult, many have trod this way,
But still the season's early, no one I've seen today.

A joyous feeling fills me, on this Alpine trail,
Upward, onward, seeking, as if for Holy Grail.
The vista all around me seems like a world apart,
The magnificence of the scene makes stirrings in my heart.

The sun has passed the zenith several hours ago
As I reach the summit, completely covered by snow.
The cold it comes upon me as down I sit to rest -
I get out of my haversack my thick and padded vest.

Oh bliss it is to conquer these heights above La France,
The view of Alpine peaks on peaks brings to me such peace.
The fresh French bread so crusty, I eat it with Brie cheese;
A bottle of wine to souse my thirst; naught else could better please!


You see,
Even when I was a child
I dreamt to visit
Pic du Midi!

-Arnold Tukkers (Holland)-

You can go to Pic du Midi
without fear.
Even a musketeer and an alien
would be happy here!

-Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romania)-

To fly
In the sky!
Monsieur Francois Colas
Merrily led us
To a higher try.

-Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romania)-

Come on!!!
Let’s listen to a young astronomer
Who is also a scientist, poet and singer:
Jeremie Vaubaillon!

-Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romania)-

I love Bareges if I'm able
To visit Pic du Midi by cable.
But later that day
They sent me away
As I made such a mess of my table.

-David Asher (U.K.;
read in the same day during the Astropoetry Show
of the International Meteor Conference)-

(Thinking of the solar cupola of Pic du Midi
and remembering a limerick by David Asher
about a very dark sunspot)

Dr. Asher's a very clever man,
He knows that the sun gives a tan;
But when he does rule
"That sunspot is cool" -
If there, you would still need a fan!

-Geoffrey H. Grayer (U.K.)-

Words coming short to say,
how we keep a remembrance,
of our unforgettable stay,
with friends in abundance.

Beautiful Pyrenees near the sky,
overwhelming observatory so large,
where we all poke around to spy,
becoming impressed free of charge,
as fear of height made some shy!

Lectures filled with knowledge,
and meals so well and appetizing,
relieved with drinks to pledge,
guitar and song for fraternizing.

A never ending source for creativity,
the international Astro-Poetry show,
this year with musical interactivity,
invited you to become an IMC fellow,
thank you all for this IMC-festivity!

These were such wonderful days,
experienced in Southern France,
enjoyed in much different ways,
this IMC as such an exuberance.

-Paul Roggemans (Belgium)-

Touching the sky where
only eagles and telescopes can do it...
Under the overflowing of the beginning light,
the last stair,
only the empire where
time ceases to pulsate,
and the dream melts into the real…

-Valentin Grigore (Romania)-

Cramped into a glass-walled room
Suspended on a spider's thread
I do hope we get there soon!
(I can't avoid a little dread).

When we arrive the view's amazing!
Mountains all around we see
Snowy peaks and glaciers flowing -
At last we're on Pic du Midi!

-Geoffrey H. Grayer (U.K.)-

Pic du Midi,
you made us happy!
We recognized you
among the peaks,
among the clouds,
among the eagles.
You are the place
where we can raise
over our terrestrial mistakes.
You are the place
where each of us can become
Homo Cosmicus.
You are the place
where we need to be forgiven that
we didn’t create more for the world.
Because you and your extraordinary people
are not a halt to the heavens,
you are a part of the heavens.

-Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romania)-

"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow…"

Song, music, and poetry are closely connected
(as the Astroshows clearly demonstrate).
So I have no problem introducing this little essay
on a traditional English song into a web site dedicated to poetry.
Unfortunately this popular ditty seems not to be well known
outside this country, judging by the response I got
when trying to lead it at the IMC-2007.
The words are simple, if a little repetitive,
but thus are very easy to remember:

“For he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow
For he's a jolly good fellow
Which no one can deny.

Which no one can deny
Which no one can deny
For he's a jolly good fellow
Which no one can deny.”

This is usually followed by the refrain repeated to the words:

“And so say all of us
And so say all of us
For he's a jolly good fellow
And so say all of us.”

One thing no one can deny,
is that the organizer of our tour to the Pic du Midi
(and most of the rest of the great event which was IMC-2007),
the French astronomer Francois Colas,
IS a Jolly Good Fellow.

“And so say all of us!”

-Geoffrey H. Grayer (U.K.)-


-Photo: Alexandru Conu (Romania)

love those fortresses
which call you to dream and watch
stars and meteors

-Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romania)-


Mihail Robescu (Romania; 1), Casper ter Kuile (Holland; 2)
Jos Nijland (Holland; 3), Valentin Grigore (Romania; 4)

The IMC participants stayed at a fine place
and I think I am wise
if I consider that L’Hospitalet
was a small paradise.

-Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romania)-

Put a telescope here and say:
“Pic du Midi Deux”! O.K.?

-Jos Nijland (Holland)
to the manager of L’Hospitalet in Bareges, Andre Routy-

I’ll be waiting for you
to create together
Pic du Midi Two!

-Andre Routy (France)-

Web site coordinator: Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Proof checking: Geoffrey H. Grayer (U.K.)
Note: Some of the photographs were first published
by the International Meteor Organization

© 2007 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)
- with the support of some
International Meteor Conference 2007 participants


Geoffrey H. Grayer’s Note on "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow":
These words are given on the web site:


If you visit it, you can hear the tune by clicking on 'play MIDI'.
For those instrumentalists who would like the sheet music,
you can copy this free from: