This planet is not terra firma

What was most significant about the lunar

voyage was not that man set foot on the Moon

but that they set eye on the Earth.


On the first day in space they pointed to countries.

On the third day they pointed to continents and by

the fifth day they were aware of only one Earth.


Jim put up his thumb and shut one eye.  His thumb

blotted out the Earth.   Everything he ever knew

lay behind his thumb.  He felt very, very small.


This jewel is lonely, is isolated

and there is no resupply.  Small and blue

and beautiful, it floats in eternal silence.


This round Earth in which all directions meet

and where there is no centre because every

point, or none is centre, is an equal earth.


We are riders on the Earth together, siblings

on this bright loveliness in eternal cold—

siblings who know now that they truly belong.


A found poem from the words of astronauts Scott Carpenter, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell,

Abdulaziz Al-Saud,and American writers Norman Cousins, Archibald MacLeis

1 thought on “This planet is not terra firma

  1. Robbie Burton

    Great found poem, Di. The first three stanzas seem especially strong, maybe because they are showing us the earth – ‘Everything he ever knew / lay behind his thumb’ is fabulous. Do you think there might be an argument for ending it there? What follows contains some lovely phrases but might be telling rather than showing.

Leave a Reply