The Launch Sequence



‘T Minus 5’

They said they should send a poet
to describe the Earth from space.
They thought it might do the world some good:
some betterment, for the human race.

“You know, I think that it’s not too late,”
Some bright arts-graduate said.
“We’ve sent up chimps,” he reasoned,
“So why not a poet instead?”

‘T Minus 4.’

The media thought it was a great idea
and the public was incredibly keen.
They even got seals of approval
from Brain Cox and the Queen.

Teams of engineers came together
to make this wonderful vision a fact,
this coming-together of science and art
in a single magnificent act.

‘T Minus 3.’

So they lured out a poet from hiding
with the promise of worldwide acclaim,
although little in his haste did he realise
that they didn’t mean literary fame.

Even though the suit didn’t fit him
and no one explained the console
the rocket left the atmosphere
with a poet at the controls.

‘T Minus 2’

“It’s beautiful alright,” Was his first thought.
“I’m glad that they picked me to go,
but apart from reporting how poignant it is
what was it they needed to know?”

So he sat there in space for a little while
looking down on the Earth all alone,
and it didn’t take long for it to occur to him:
“How the hell am I meant to get home?”

‘T Minus 1…. and Liftoff.’

They say they sent a poet
to help them understand,
but the poet still wishes they hadn’t
because he doesn’t know how to land.


Art by Elena Purlytė at:


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