Tuesday, May 17, 2011

* Remember the Sputnik *

* Remember the Sputnik *
Half remembered canine cosmonauts
Frozen in the vacuum circling the Sun
Left over from a Cold War space race
No one ever truly won
A beeping sputnik achieved orbit first
And West set foot on Moon first
Then the whole event slipped sideways
The missile Moon base was never built
The New Bold Frontier in the sky
Those six shooter nuclear platforms
Were never lifted up and away
Instead challenge was for communications
Mobile phones and television transmissions
The geosynchronous orbits of a set of beeping clocks
Declaring from their stationery orbits
We know where we stand
In any place we now know our spot
Latitude and longitude conquered
As reliably as Harris's old clocks

However trips to Mars are on standby
Even if knowledge is densely accrued
Allows scientists and engineers to still argue
Over the countless meaningless hypotheticals
Of getting folks from here to there
Heated discussions which do not matter
Until someone accepts the challenge
Takes the reins of adventure
Sets across the Oregon trail in the stars
But the space shuttles are grounded
NASA's budget sliced thinner
Than a salami in a blackhole blender
Seems we have all decided
The Moon was far enough
Troubles here are plenty for our needs
And yet if we do not seek to move forward
Escape hamster cage of our planet
How long till we strip it bare
How long till our wants and needs consume us
And we are left forever wondering
What could have been our destiny
If we had dared to go out there.

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