Monday 29 July 2019

Poetry Monday: The Moon

It's Poetry Monday, and this week's topic is . . . THE MOON.

Join Delores, MotherOwl, Mimi, and me as we contemplate this heavenly marvel and pen our thoughts. The fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing has just been celebrated, so it seems like a good time to think about our closest celestial neighbour.

If you have a poem to offer, you may leave it in the comments or post on your own blog. If you do the latter, please let us know in the comments how to find you so we can come along and applaud. Use the topic, or not -- the object is to have fun and exercise our brain cells :)


First, to set the mood for my poem, and because he is my hero, I would like to present a somewhat relevant poem by the great Ogden Nash:

A Caution To Everybody
   by Ogden Nash

Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.


If you think that sounds like rather faint praise for aviation, I think you're right. And I would take it one step further.

Although I found the moon landing fascinating, I do not approve! No, not at all. We cannot even take care of our home planet; what makes anyone believe that we will take care of any other body in space?

In fact, it has been estimated that mankind has, for various reasons, left 187,400 kilograms (413,100 lb) of material on the moon, including ninety-six bags of human waste.  You can read more about it here (total materials) and here (poop), if you have the stomach for it.

I'm shaking my head here. I'm shaking it so vigorously I bet you can feel the vibrations all the way to wherever you are, can't you?

It's not that I don't believe in science. I believe in science like anything, people. I just think we should first be doing science that repairs and advances what we have here on Earth before we start sprinting off to other places in space.

And it's not that I don't appreciate the mysteries of the universe, either. I appreciate them like nobody's business. My favourite time of day is dusk, when the curtain opens on the stars and the moon, and the vastness of all that lies beyond our planet starts to reveal itself. It leaves me in awe every single time, and sometimes in tears of wonder.

But our planet does the same. And shouldn't it? How can so many be so casual about the damage we've inflicted on our precious home?

Questions, people. I got 'em.

And a poem. I got that, too.


The Moon Was Just The Beginning . . .

What have we done to our marvellous Earth?
We've starved it and scourged it and plundered its worth
We're killing the beasts of the land and the sea
And killing each other for power and money

The lessons are clear for the souls who dare look
But lost on the ones with no conscience to brook

And now we are focused on living on Mars . . . . . . . .

Shouldn't we fix first the planet that's ours?


Yeah, yeah, I know - my poem wasn't really about the moon after all, was it? Even though I tried to cheat by putting "moon" in the title. But as the instructions up above say, use the topic or not, and I chose to use it as a stepping stone to what I found most important in my heart when I sat down to write.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

I hope you have a week full of wonder and awe, filled with natural beauty and quiet happiness.


Next week's topic is ........... THUNDER AND LIGHTNING AND RAIN .... OH MY!



Elephant's Child said...

YES. An emphatic yes.
How could any other intelligent lifeform welcome us to their home when they see what we have done (and are doing) to our own. We are in serious need of planetary house-training.

e said...

I have always been entranced by the moon. Its glow or shimmer I find divine. Have a wonderful week, Jenny.

River said...

nice poem and of course we should fix our own planet before we go somewhere else and hopefully NOT do the same to it. I'm wondering about stuff left on the moon though. Why? Why couldn't they bring it back with them? And how does anything stay on the moon when there is no gravity? Wouldn't it all just float away?

dinthebeast said...

I'm gonna have to go with Neil deGrasse Tyson on this one and believe that the incentive to learn and advance are fueled by space exploration to a degree more beneficial than the resources it requires, and further say that the sort of advances likely to be side effects of that sort of endeavor are going to become vastly more important to the management of the damage we've already done very soon.

That said, and to your poem's point, let's not forget why we went to the moon in the first place: the space race was the arms race pointed upward, and as soon as we had our ICBM technology in hand, we stopped going to the moon.

And having seen what we've done to, say, Northern California, I do not, in fact, trust us with the stewardship of another world.

How we ever plan on improving in that respect without devoting resources and attention to it, I don't have a clue, so I will continue to support space exploration.

And as for the actual moon, I'm writing this on Sunday night, and you've reminded me that there's a meteor shower I need to try and see some of before I go to bed.

-Doug in Oakland

baili said...

i think your poem is all about moon dear Jenny

it tells that reaching on moon is important but not more than keeping our home planet safe and secure place for all

your poem is HONEST AND POWERFUL my dear friend

your engaging with evening stars and contemplation over the wonders of nature leave you with tears ,they do often it to me either and once i read in saint's poetry (spiritual people connected deeply to Creator)

that such hearts who try to read what has lied before their eyes are sacred and blessed :)

i am with you in your opinion about landing on moon
or what you pointed in your wonderful poem

our lust of power is sucking the beauty of earth
our bling want for more and more is destroying life and humanity badly

we need to wake up and look carefully what damage we have caused to our home planet
we need to quit our greed
we should do something to save our house before it's too late
if we are done with that
we are free to jump into further worlds or planets

wishing you much happiness and peace in life dear friend!

crafty cat corner said...

Such a sad post. I shake my head in sadness to think what is going to become of our wonderful planet.
Just in my lifetime I have seen such terrible changes, especially regarding wildlife.
We have lost Swallow, Swifts, House martins Owls, Bats, Great tits, Blackbirds and Thrushes all of which used to fly up and down our road. So sad.
As for the moon, don't get me started, I feel much the same as you.

kylie said...

I agree. My despair over the planet is so deep that I no longer even try to think about it, write about it or further educate myself.

You nailed it

messymimi said...

You are so right, i agree with C.S. Lewis, who said something to the effect that he hoped we never escaped this planet to spread our wickedness to other places.

Thank you for including me in your list, i will indeed try to write a poem each week, i'm finding it is fun and theraputic.

Marie Smith said...

I think it is disgusting what was left on the moon. Loved the poem.

We should put time and energy into fixing the damage to the planet!

Red said...

You make an excellent comparison. Degradation is the word you're looking for. there is very little native habitat left. As for climate change...we've gone off the edge.

only slightly confused said...

You are quite right......get it right at home before you go wandering off into outer space. Besides, knowing too much scientific date about the moon and the universe in general ruins the majesty and the mystery of it.

Steve Reed said...

Well, I would hope that as we work on further space exploration, we ALSO work on our own planet. I don't think it has to be either/or. The space program taught humanity a lot of valuable things, and could continue to do so. But yes, we need to get our own house in order, too.

Joan (Devon) said...

Oh Jenny, I totally, 100% agree with what you say. We are both on the same wavelength with this. I have admiration and respect for scientists when they 'discover' or find a way to benefit us, whether man or beast, here on Earth. But I have no respect whatsoever, much less admiration, for scientists who want to meddle into other things, (cloning comes to mind, a.k.a. Frankenstein).

I've been having a few health issues lately, so haven't felt much like composing poetry, but as I feel as strongly about this as you, I thought I'd send one I wrote a couple of years ago.

Our Planet

We live on a beautiful planet,
With nature for us to enjoy.
Awestruck by its splendour,
Not to be messed with or annoy.

Forget the glass and chrome,
The concrete and high-rise towers.
There's no greater thing around,
Than nature, its beauty and powers.

Mountains, woods and streams,
Rivers and canyons too.
Tell me; can man make,
Such a wonderous view?

The oceans are suffering now,
Because of man-made goods.
And man is destroying,
All the natural and beautiful woods.

We are eliminating the wild life,
We attack it as murderous thugs.
It doesn't matter what it is,
Land, animals, plants or slugs.

We plunder and destroy it all,
Because we feel we can.
There is no more destructive being -
Than the Earthly man.

We have no more rights than others,
Be they insect, animal or plant.
We cover our ears when we are told,
"You shouldn't" or "You can't".

With man-made tools of choice,
We plunder or deplete.
Everything must be uniform,
Everything must be neat.

Why can't we let things be?
Why do we have to tame?
What makes us so special that,
We have to civilize to make the same?

Why must it be this way?
Why can't we see the signs?
That we are extinguishing nature -
There'll be no more in future times.

Sorry about the length. I'm afraid when I get a bee in my bonnet I get carried away. Take care and have a good week.

jenny_o said...

If there is "anyone out there", I'm sure they hold their noses as they give us a wide berth, EC ...

jenny_o said...

It's wonderful, isn't it? Thanks, e.

jenny_o said...

You are not the first to ask those things - the Wikipedia article on it says that the payload weight had to be carefully considered to ensure safety for the astronauts' return. I don't really understand how they could take food and water with them but not take the equivalent amount home ... and all the equipment and structures that were crashed (intentionally or not) seem to be littering of the worst kind! Also, there is some gravity on the moon; I think it's one-sixth that of the earth. So the crap stays put. So to speak.

jenny_o said...

I have heard that argument for space exploration and fervently *hope* it's true. I do know there are many scientists working on solutions to climate change, and if some of that has come about due to the space race (the reasons for which you have nailed), that would be a good thing. I think at its core the issue is how to get all of mankind on the same page as far as how to live harmoniously and for the good of all ... and I fear that will never happen, whether it's here on Earth or out there in space :(

I hope you got to see some meteors!

jenny_o said...

Your post last week along similar lines (the lust for power and more material things) made me think more deeply and contributed to this poem, baili. I wish more people could see the wonder which is the Earth instead of taking taking taking, only. Hugs to you, my friend.

jenny_o said...

I picture mankind blundering its way through space leaving a trail of garbage and destruction just the way we've done on Earth. There is nothing to indicate the outcome will be anything else. As you said - so sad.

jenny_o said...

Generally I try to look at how science is helping and the positive things people do are helping, but sometimes the despair just seeps out, kylie.

jenny_o said...

Wickedness is a good word for it, Mimi.

If you ever need a break or want to stop doing Poetry Monday, just let me know, Mimi. In the meantime, you're on the list!

jenny_o said...

We seem to be singing from the same songbook, Marie :)

jenny_o said...

I really fear you're right, Red.

jenny_o said...

I never thought about that aspect of it, Delores - I wonder if we'll EVER solve all the mysteries, though ...

jenny_o said...

I look at the lack of resources to do both; that's my concern. But that's probably overshadowed by the lack of political will to do it ...

jenny_o said...

I'm so glad to hear from you, Joan. And sorry that your health issues are flaring up.

Your poem is spot on. "There is no more destructive being -/ Than the Earthly man" - so true. And does it have to be that way? I don't think it HAS to be that way, but I fear it always will be. Your poem is full of truth.

Take care of yourself.

Infidel753 said...

Myself, I'm not much bothered
'Bout garbage on the Moon,
Because there's no one up there
To sing a mournful tune.

I'd rather see all trash dumped
Out on some lifeless rock
Than here where beasts and humans
All live and swarm and flock.

We've gotta put it somewhere,
So spare our native dirt,
And leave it on a dead world
Where no one will be hurt.


Janie Junebug said...

I like to moon people.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

When looking at the sky at night and seeing all those wonders in the sky, one can’t help question if there is life beyond this earth. I believe there is. We will never fix the problems we have here on earth as they are all man made and we keep making more every day. The way things are going and with us having the ability to blow this planet up in minutes, maybe it would be good to find an Earth 2. Perhaps that is how we all got here billions of years ago when another planet in our solar system evolved the way we did and destroyed themselves. The first alien to arrive here was possibly the cockroach and he lives among us in Washington DC.

Susan said...

Right on, Jenny. I swore I wasn't going to take on another cause after getting the new library approved and built but as soon as I have a minute I am toddling down to the Green Party office to volunteer and signing up for Save the whales, you may know the Orcas re having a terrible time of it here on the West coast. I'm beginning to think elders like me must get out and stir things up while our offspring raise their babies and put bread on the table.

jenny_o said...

But then where would be the incentive to reduce our garbage output? :D

Thanks for bringing a poem with you, Infidel!

jenny_o said...

I don't believe you, but you made me laugh :)

jenny_o said...

There's so much we don't know yet, isn't there?

The mysteries of the universe. Not just a nice catchphrase :)

jenny_o said...

Orcas on the west coast, right whales on this coast . . . they are having a hard time all over, aren't they? You've made me think about what I might be able to do, Susan. Kudos to you and good luck.

Diane Henders said...

Well said! (Or well-pomed?)

People seem to have the same attitude to space as they once had (and some still do) toward the ocean: "Oh, it's vast! Go ahead and dump whatever you want in it; it'll all just go away." Um, NOPE! Grab a brain, people!

Don't get me started...

jenny_o said...

Yes, exactly -- and we know how that turned out . . .

Mr. Shife said...

A powerful and moving poem, jenny_o. Thank you so much. I loved it. Human beings are buttholes and I hope we figure it out before it is too late and have destroyed Earth.

jenny_o said...

Me, too, Mr. Shife. I think we're getting real close to those last two words you wrote.