Give Us Space

Spinning wisely, never tardy,
Following elliptical orbit,
Jupiter their Ollie Hardy,
Mercury their Ronnie Corbett,

Planets move on, slyly twinkling,
Keeping Earthlings on their mettle,
Since we have a distant inkling
This is where we’ll have to settle

If the final Bang is bigger
Than the President intended:
Somewhere bleak, but where we figure
Life will flourish when Earth’s ended.

Somewhere in this solar circus
Far from all our havoc-wreakers,
Far from famines, wars which irk us,
We will be asylum seekers:

Atmosphere may leave us gasping,
Hard terrain may seem unsightly,
But this straw’s the last we’re grasping,
Gazing at the skyscape nightly.

Each of us a moral leper,
Each of us a moral slattern,
Hear the pleas with which we pepper
God! Let’s pray there’s life on Saturn.

From the book Rime Present