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Moonfall by Ernest Lilley
*Essay  ISBN/ITEM#: 090720MOONFALL
Date: 01 August 2009 / Show Official Info /

On this 40th anniversary of man's first lunar landing, here's something a bit different, a poem I wrote about the descent and landing for the occasion.- Ern


A slight jar and we're free,
Floating in the dark.
A hand touches the stick
And a shudder passes
Through the craft.

Stars wheel crazily
Until the gray white globe
Slides into view
Nine miles high
Face down, like a runner
Ready for the gun.

And flight says "go"
And the mains roar
Their silent outrage
And the ship shakes
And weight returns,
And the world flips about

The face of the moon is a vast cliff
And we're sliding down its glowing face
And to our impatient eyes
Nothing has changed.
But we know that we are

In a long arc
That will bring us down
To gently kiss the face of the moon.
Sweet four billion and never been kissed.
Until now.
And the mains roar on
Thirsty to drink their fill

We started late
Just seconds
But looking out the window
Neil can tell
As the moon slips by
Too fast
And the mains roar on

At three thousand feet
Alarms and confusion
Called out in calm tones
You'd never know that
We almost turned back.
We could have, you know.

And now it's close,
Almost close enough to touch.
Flight calls out the burn time left
"Sixty seconds"
Neil hunts for a clear space
On a field of boulders
"Thirty seconds"

"We go to the moon,
not because it is easy,
But because it is hard.
And the other thing."

Lots of other things
To taunt the bear
To seed the south
To remember a fallen leader
And because our own dreams
Won't quite die.

We have arrived
Within the decade
And now the moon
Hangs below us
Just out of reach

Kicking up some dust
Faint shadow
Drifting to the right
Contact light
Engine stop


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