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Now To Begin
Part of Space Poetry Family
Mir against Space
Mir against Space
The Mir station seen against space during one of the Shuttle-Mir missions.
Credit: NASA
Poem: here, no angels sing, nor winged cherubim, nor seraphim that hover over a god's throne...

ode to Mir (1986 - 2001) & ISS (1998 - )


here, no angels sing
nor winged cherubim
nor seraphim that hover over a god's throne

         here are only

         Bortinzhener Korablya
         Komandyr Korablya
         Kosmonavt Issledovatel



                  here are only

                  the song of antennae
                  wingnuts seeking quorum of thread
                  circuits who commune with quantums

here, urging the bow on

Leif Eriksson, Cheng Ho,
& Phoenicians & Polynesians
whose names only the winds recall

         here, squaring the circle

         Fernão de Magalhães
          Lowell Smith
         Yuri Gagarin



                  here, we cast off umbilicals

                  Magellans of the 92 minutes
                  construct a kite of cabins
                  a flock of tetrahedrons



here, chaos of airhoses & seals



the hatching of crew
motherboards, software, templates
our learning curve is ballistic



         here we calibrate

         gauges, docking radar
         for all who start this journey
         so others may complete

                  here we celebrate

                   all who explore
                   where curiosity leads
                   now to begin!

Notes:
Bortinzhener Korablya (Rus) - Flight Engineer.
Komandyr Korablya (Rus) - Spacecraft Commander.
Kosmonavt Issledovatel (Rus) - Cosmonaut Researcher.
Leif Erikkson - 1st Viking to reach America.
Cheng Ho - led westermost Chinese expedition, reaching Africa.
Phoenecians - the 1st to circumnavigate Africa, c. 600 BC.
Polynesians - navigated as far afield as Hawaii & New Zealand.
Fernão de Magalhães - (real name of Ferdinand Magellan) led first circumnavigation of the world, by
sea, 1519-22, until killed; voyage completed by Juan Sebastian de Elcora.
Lowell Smith - led first round-the-world flight, 1924.
Yuri Gagarin - first to orbit the world, 1961.
Magellans of the 92 minutes - duration of an orbit at the 400 kms height of the space station.


--Keith Gottschalk





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