POEM: Golden Record

Golden Record

Little pieces of Bach and Beethoven;
Indonesian folk music;
love songs from Peru;
millions of miles from its parent planet,
alone in the dark,
waiting.

///

Jason Crane
Earth Day 2019
Planet Earth

POEM: anywhere

tardis2

anywhere
(for Bernie and John)

who wouldn’t want to get into the police box
tie your fate to the whims of a mad explorer
touch down everywhere and everywhen
never quite knowing what lies beyond the door

my older son says he wouldn’t want to go into space
which makes me sad, because as a child (and even now)
I wanted to go into space more than almost anything
but he’s grown up in a world without human spaceflight

a time when we’ve stopped reaching for the stars
(an idea even Casey Kasem understood)
when we’re content to limit our vision to what’s easy
rather than set our sights on what’s just beyond reach

so, with no real-life exploration to inspire us
I’ll do the next best thing — I’ll give my boys a box
that’s bigger on the inside, that can go anywhere
and I’ll use it to show them they can go anywhere too

15 December 2013
Oak Street

POEM: Mission: T Minus One Day

600px-Mars_and_Syrtis_Major_-_GPN-2000-000923

Mission: T Minus One Day

some radio wag called it
“a homicide mission”
said NASA would be
murdering whomever they sent
but doesn’t murder imply
the murdered person is unwilling?
I am both the bullet and the target
about to be shot from this planet
on a one-way trip to see God
or at least the god of war
atop his red throne, shrouded
in a planet-sized dust storm
a few months from now
I’ll be digging a cave in the dirt
hoping my suit doesn’t fail
but today I’m turning in the keys
to my last-ever apartment
putting one photo in my wallet

4 July 2013
Auburn AL

/ / /

Starting on July 4, 2013, I’m writing a series of poems from the point of view of an astronaut traveling on a one-way mission to Mars. These poems were inspired by this podcast by the appropriately named Roman Mars. His show 99% Invisible is fabulous.

Photo credit

Stardust (the NASA mission, not the ballad)

In the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know what kind of nerd you’re dealing with when you visit this Web site. In 1998, NASA put out a call for names to be inscribed onto two microchips that would go into space on the Stardust mission. Stardust was NASA’s first attempt to fly through a comet and collect a sample.

Jen and I were living in Japan at the time, and I submitted my name. I made it on Chip #2! That still thrills me, and I realize what that implies, so you don’t need to bring it up. There were actually two sets of chips — one set that would fly through the comet and return with the sample-collecting spacecraft, and another set that would stay out in space forever.

Early this morning, Stardust returned to Earth. Welcome back, and bring on the science!