As a preview for April, National Poetry Month, when I will share ShuttleNasaPDmore poems.

I don’t write a lot of poetry, but I do write it when inspired. I wrote this six years after the Challenger loss. This was near another more pleasant anniversary, the first birthday of my daughter, Sheridan M. M. Slater. When the Columbia Seven lost their lives I wrote a song. I suppose these were intended to be song lyrics, too, but no music ever came. Columbia was eighteen years later, also in January, but I don’t recall anyone mentioning it two weeks ago. [Author note: Oops. 1/16/03 was the launch date, and the accident occurred on reentry 2/3/03.] I remember where I was for that, too. I will post the lyrics and hopefully a recording of the song.

Happy birthday to my daughter and Ad Astrato the stars for the astronauts. May their service not have been in vain.

Rocket Tears – January 28

I remember the day quite clear as if it were yesterday
A day that had dawned bright and clear, soon would be torn away
I walked into a room, full and hushed, stunned into silence and sorrow
Their spirits were broken and crushed as the blast took away our  tomorrow

Smoke clouds of billowing white; next few moments flash by in a blur
We see the fire as the engines ignite, then the unthinkable occurs
I see the flash and then hear the sound as it replays again on the screen
There I stand and ask why as she crashes down into the sea

There I stood and I cried. . . rocket tears
Sorrowful tears in my eyes
As rain from the skies
Obscures the clouds and our fears

Five years later on that January day, I drove to see a new life arrive
The clouds have now drifted away and now we once again strive
The birth of a baby brings hope of a renewal of life and of dreams
As for death use the pain for our growth, see what the future reveals

From death there will come life again as the phoenix arose from the fire
Please don’t let our dreams fade with the flames of the funeral pyre
Tell the story to daughters and sons of the lives that people have given
In the dream of pursuing the sun they’ll remain in our memories living

Here I stand and I cry. . . rocket tears
Hopeful tears in my eyes
As rain from the skies
Obscures the clouds and the years

January 1992.

Author’s Note: Yes, this is where my publishing company name, Rocket Tears Press, comes from.