newark moon: two poems

Image: Dr. Dick's Report
Image: Richard Wilkins, Jr.

EPIC WAS THE VOYAGE

by Larry Pendleton

Ho! The Sea of Tranquility
Where Man did not hold sway
Until two daring Astronauts
Walked on the moon that day …

Nations gasped and gaped in awe
The impossible had been done
Three valiant Voyagers roared thru space
Beneath the scorching sun …

Their Lunar module touched-down on moon
The Solar Winds moaned low
Silence filled Time’s Great Halls
As they muttered “it is so” …

It was an Epic Voyage
All mankind thrilled to see
Puny Man a giant in deed
From moon to earthbound sea …

We hail our mighty Astronauts
Our voices raised on high
Almighty God consented
And man vanquished the skies …

“Quo Fata Ferunt”

 

MIRE! MIRE! LA LUNA!

by Margaret Tsuda

The moon
full/radiant/fair
unshadowed by earth
hung just beyond
the reach of fingertips.
But
in the concrete dusk
of the city
only at street crossings
could the splendid sphere be seen.

At one corner
a clump of urchins
tumbled out of a doorway.
Rough and a bit ragged,
I thought as
I passed among them.

Then, behind me
rose a cry
loud/shrill/urgent,
“Mire! Mire! La luna!”

How many other
child-throats
in how many other tongues
gave voice that night,
“Look! Look! The moon!”
as planet earth and satellite
turned together
in their soundless spatial
harmony?

Above all speech
all difference of language
the moon serenely
pours forth
luminescent beauty
equally
over all who look
toward light!

Larry Pendleton was an employee of the Newark Post Office District and a journalist for the New Jersey Afro American. His tribute to the crew of Apollo 11 was printed in the September 8, 1969, Congressional Record where he was identified as Newark’s poet laureate.

Margaret Tsuda’s poem was published in The Christian Science Monitor of March 19, 1973, and in her collection Urban River (1976).

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