Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry

& June & Croon

We sit down here, looking up at the moon,
necks cricked back all uncomfortable,
with our thoughts of poetry & romance &
dancing silverware and silvery light,
but the moon doesn't affect us, not really
not even as much as it does clams,
sleeping in their mud,
dreaming mindless dreams set to
rhythm by a stone in the sky they'll never see
never even guess the existence of

And to us it's just a light in the sky
maybe we gaze at it for a minute or two, say gosh isn't
it beautiful behind wispy clouds or shining on the lake or over the mountains
& then go on chattering inconsequentialities
& never even think to look up at it again

But it's a place, the moon, a place big as all Africa
big as all the world's deserts together and then some
harsh and rugged and cold as the mountains of Antarctica
and as beautiful

a place with lonely footprints nearly forgotten,
tiny in the midst of vast cratered plains
where we have left behind our forgotten dreams

No, footprints are never lonely:
the loneliness is in us.

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Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist, a science fiction writer, and a poet. As a SF writer, he has won the Hugo and Nebula awards for short fiction, and is the author of one novel, Mars Crossing, and a collection of short stories, Impact Parameter (and Other Quantum Realities). As a poet, he has won the Rhysling and Dwarf Stars awards, and is the author of one collection of poems, Iron Angels. As a scientist, he works at NASA John Glenn Research Center on projects as varied as developing technology for Venus exploration, advanced power systems for spacecraft, telerobotic exploration of the planets, and interstellar travel, and is a member of the Mars Exploration Rovers science team. He was recently named the recipient of the 2014 Robert A. Heinlein Award "bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space."

He lives in Berea, Ohio, with his wife, writer Mary A. Turzillo, and two cats. More information can be found at his web page,