Hunters In The Dark Wood

Long, at last, The Vostok had pierced the darkness
and thrust Yuri into the firmament;
We leapt from spherical craft to the vault
of heaven, and waded ourselves in a bit
with legs new formed like a tadpole in morph.

In fire and sparks the Saturn 5 was born:
Mighty Zeus himself had crafted the name
and Leto surely guarded Neil and Buzz
as they blasted their coarse in a craft—we launched
Apollo, the old Olympian God
and thirty two million horses aloft.

The world and all of its kin found itself
as moths circling the television flame—
pinned to Cronkite and the radio wave,
as both Eagle and Buzz set down to Sea.

One great leap for mankind—we would follow
and pierce the darkness to glimpse the mount
and seat of Gods again. Our hearts would lead,
and our feet would follow, but the veil of heaven is
thin and the forest is dark with life.

For fifty years we’ve kept our feet on Earth
and filled the vacuum with The Kardashians,
Kanye, and the endless noise of Nancy
Grace, fairly unbalanced in her pulpit cries.

From its jeweled coffers life feeds on life.
The tusk of the narwhal was built from blood—
in its spirals eons stack up the cost.
Even the helical form of fractal
Romanesco Broccoli is bathed in the dead
of the lifeforms that could not out complete
such a splendid looking broccoli as it.

At worst Fermi has left us with millions
of civilizations dispersed,
surely we should have heard some noise by now—
some distant music from a farther room.

We have gone out in the darkness in waves
to the places between the stars
and traveled beyond that first awkward step
as Marconian ambassadors,
broadcasting our whereabouts—
a little blue planet—just left out of the caves.

If the forest wasn’t dark and the hunter
was not lurking about the trees,
surely we would have heard the children singing,
surely we should have heard the chips of birds
or the thunderous feet of some flower
become sentient now after a gigayear
spent smiling up at a dwarf sun.

Life feeds on life, and in the dark of ages
hence it has gathered about the Goldilocks
and clutched its young with something like arms,
and being reasonable decided to lock the door
rather than chance the great mistake of waving
a leg or a tentacle our way.

©J.P.V.

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