On the Moon

Midnight. July 20th 1969. They have landed.
They are waiting to open the door, descend the steps.

They are looking at the moon.

Out of a new fire
an ancient concourse of elements.

Unvisited doors of rock
frozen, it seems, from a cascade of pure water
make a palace of air.
Grey-white, boulders and dust, an untouched
parchment, now shown to Earth.

Soon they will go out, to a new alphabet,
related but strange.

In the beginning was the Word:
and now a newer reading.

Grant them skill in their manoeuvres.
Let them ride in safety
on a point of meaningless silence
that extends the chart of riches beyond our world.
Let them unearth no terror.

Let our night-planet be no enemy.
Let the pure water of creation
not petrify with hoarded secrets
for our righteous quarrels.

As they touch the water, it will be a test
of man that came from the fire.

They are looking at the moon.

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