Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

A Scene Unhappily Come True

Posted by hyperpat on August 31, 2006

I was going through some of the junk around the house in preparation for the move, and I came across this item:

Astro-Fired

I sense the wired unrest

inside the quiet voice and harsh control

Deliberate decision, constant test

Drone of backward clock tick,

tick,

grinding taut flayed nerve

 

Last tick, ignition spark

A blossom fire, a black of smoke

Hesitant lift,

pause,

sudden lark

Embroiled in sound hard high

High,

catching eye, ear, throat

 

A sigh, a smoke, relax —

My last to watch, control, the flying thought of man.

They say they will not pay the tax;

More important things than dreams

Dreams

of my heart, mind, soul

I wrote this in 1965, when I was a stripling of 16, and long before the Moon landing and the later almost total dismantling of the manned space program. As poetry it may not be great, although neither is it bad; in fact it surprised me, as I’d forgotten this poem, and it’s better than I’d thought I was capable of at that age. But more importantly it highlights the fact that even back then I could sense the ambivalence of the American populace to the need for and the importance of space flight. That hasn’t changed in all the years since then, and I have to rate NASA’s public relations efforts a dismal failure. And that is something to cry about.

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