Sputnik Chortled

authored by Nes when she was perhaps 15
Tuesday, January 1, 1980
We are none of us too good enough:
as runners, we pant and heave heavy thoughts
as we beat our way across a nondescript finish line,
and the bold spectators hungrily jeer us on.
Theirs is a fascinating psychology,
primal wilderness pulsing
underneath a well spoken, rational mind.
They command us
to coldly dissect
and peer into the mystical lab charts.
Let there be a charmless existence,
or a dullness that aches:
We will find meaning to this mess.

Sputnik chortled its way to the skies
leaving behind a world of
uneasy quiet, bated breath, and
a desperate rush towards the sciences.
Like a pink dusted dawn on an empty highway,
waiting for something -
to plunge into life.
That powerful energy that devours us all.
Sputnik sped away
and we ran forward
we runners tripped but hurtled on,
on towards the Math and Science
Omnipotent, omnipresent: crack our hearts
and freeze them.
Cryogenically save our souls; perhaps we will then be able
to analyze the specific compounds that react - label, identify,
and pack them away into neat little jars,
holed into long laboratory corridors.
Will our dissected hearts then be able
to convey their heart-felt condolences to their neighbor,
the dying rat?

I kick a stone along its path,
as I wander aimlessly in a national park, does it really matter where?
The stone has endured the burden of a human footstep
for generations past, and more to come.
But it never tells our secrets
and I hope that it  never will.
Answers - we race towards them
because the spectators drag us on - projecting hopes
of glory, of contentment, of peace.
I fear what will come when we have the answers.
Mystery spreads her soft cotton shawl over us,
gathering us in, and comforting us with words of gentle
half-truths, and innocent lies.
Ancient mystery knows our character better than we do 
the question is:
does she protect us from the answers,
or is she protecting the answers
from us?
Viruses, gifts, parasites, human beings,
whatever the latest euphemism for our kind is,
hear: why complete the finish  line?
The answers are frighteningly within reach now;
do we really want it?

Runners, stop this frantic marathon.
Seize your spectator by the hand and
gaze at Sputnik together:
marveling at its beauty, basking in its impossibility.