RAY Wow! My gosh. Don't sit down; I won't take long, but every time I have people trapped like this (takes a folded sheet from his pocket) I bring out a poem, because they can't escape, huh? It's a short poem, like me, but it sums up my feelings on space travel, Man, God, the Seven Days Of Creation, the Eighth long day of Man On Earth, the Ninth long day of Man In Space, why I write and why I hope. May I read it to you? (We Say Yes!) Alright.
ONSCREEN TEXT: If Only We Had Taller Been
RAY (first reading, then from heart memory) “The fence we walked between the years Did balance us serene. It was a place half in the sky where,
in the green of leaf and promising of peach, we'd reach our hands to touch and almost touch the sky. If we could reach and touch, we said, 'Twould teach us, not to, never to, be dead.
We ached and almost touched that stuff; Our reach was never quite enough. If only we had taller been, And touched God's cuff, His hem, We would not have to go with them Who've gone before,
Who, short as us, stood tall as they could stand And hoped by stretching, tall, that they might keep their land, Their home, their hearth, their flesh and soul. But they, like us, were standing in a hole.
O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall Across the Void, across the Universe and all? And, measured out with rocket fire, at last put Adam's finger forth As on the Sistine Ceiling, and God's hand come down the other way To measure man and find him Good, And Gift him with Forever's Day?
I work for that. Short man, Large dream. I send my rockets forth between my ears, Hoping an inch of Good is worth a pound of years. Aching to hear a voice cry back along the Universal Mall:
We've reached Alpha Centauri! We're tall, O God, we're tall!”