We March Back To Olympus
by Ray Bradbury

Thrown out of Eden
Now we headlong humans
Sinners sinned against
Tossed from the central sun
We with our own concentric fires
Blaze and burn.
Once at the hub of wakening
And vast starwheel,
For centuries long-lost, and made to feel
Unwanted, orphaned, mindless,
Driven forth to grassless gardens,
Dead and desert sea,
We were shut out by comet grooms like Kepler
Galileo Galilei
Whose short-sight probing light-years
Upped and said:
The Hub's not here!
So shot man through the head
And worse, each starblind prophet killed a part,
Snugged shut our souls,
Chopped short our reach,
Entombed our living heart.
But now we bastard sons of time
Pronounce ourselves anew
And strike fire-hammer blows
To change tomorrow's clime, its meteor snows.
Our rocket selfhood grows
To give dull facts a shake, break data down
To climb the Empire State and thundercry the town
But more! reach up and strike
And claim from Heaven
The Garden we were shunted from,
For now, space-driven
We fit, fix, force and fuse,
Re-hub the systems vast
Respoke starwheel
And at the spiraled core
Plant foot, full fire-shod
And thus saints feel
Our yeast like flesh of God.
We march back to Olympus,
Our plain-bread flesh burns gold!
We clothe ourselves in flame
And trade new myths for old.
The Greek gods christen us
With ghosts of comet swords;
God smiles and names us thus:
"Arise! Run! Fly, my Lords!"

end-note: This is one of the most notable poems from a collection of verse by American author Ray Bradbury, entitled Where Robot Mice And Robot Men Run Round In Robot Towns.

Since most are probably unaware that Bradbury even wrote poetry, I felt it was well worth noding. Besides that, the poem itself is a terrific jab at the myopic heel-dragging anti-scientific attitude of the Establishment that's been firmly in place in America throughout much of the last two decades. (*ahem* ranting, sorry). Put it this way: When they finally launch that first colony ship towards Mars, I believe these are the words that should be plastered down the side of it. 'Nuff said.

UPDATE February 1, 2003: There was a shuttle crash today. The Columbia came down in a blaze of fire across the morning sky, and seven souls were lost so close to home. There was a huge argument in the chatbox today, about the continuation of manned space flight, but I think Halspal said it simplest and said it best: "Manned space exploration is the only logical endeavor for people who live on a dying planet."

We must not let tragedy and fear turn us back from the magnificent journey that we've begun-- the greatest adventure in the history of Man. Earth has been kind to us, but soon we must leave her, and return to the stars from whence we came. We must not let their bravery be forgotten, and we must not let sacrifices be in vain.