The Rocket & The Simulated Door [poem]

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As I made my weary way across the cosmos
[may the reader glean the mystery here],
my rocket engines getting past their prime
(for I had travelled far and wide and rocketed
through many gruelling rides, though here
I don’t think I’ll confide in you them all),
I’d contemplated putting into scrap (and thus
I’d forfeit too my journey back) my old
fatigued titanic frame and would no longer
be linked up with other craft and astr{a}nauts
(or so I, at that wretched time, had thought).

You really don’t need much intelligence to see
the state in which I’d finally come to be,
for rust [through lack of use, as periscope
had spied no astr{a}naut or craft which
would be worthy for me to embark]
had overtaken all my bones —
corroded my testosterone —
unhinged my XY chromosomes —
then dried up all my shaving foam —
and left my once-was-useful fuselage
to rot alone.
In other words, the whole of space
in parallelish worlds (and mine) was

Despite these inconvenient shards of slime,
my heart was never short of symphony
or rhyme
or words
or etymological turds
(I dumped them out like wedding-day confetti
or peninsularic showers in Gower
or a ticker-tape event in New York City).
Everything was going out —
nothing ever coming in
mimicking my bloody sweat and tears
[not literally, of course, but metaphorically].
One-way party in the sky
when flying in my rocket ship
although its fuel would not run dry
(and all my pipes were never snipped).

Somehow, though, I’d never fired
the power of my engines to their height.
I’d never even tried them out myself!
[insert photo here of motors on the shelf]
All I’ve done is drift through space alone
(without a trace of sky)
even with no source of light
even when the list of passengers had grown
or fluctuated more or less, it felt
as if into a vortex [empty] I’d been thrown
— but… I digress…

Drifting forward [if it was] at speed of sound
I asked where I’d be found in later days.
“Just Nowhere” was the instrument’s reply;
and in a haze I knew that dial was accurate and,
in fact, as near as needles can, had prophesied.

Then-in-that-very-moment, through a porthole
looking out into the non-existent sky,
I saw a rocket ship like mine and straightaway
I judged her hull to be arresting and sublime.
Where I was long and hard and tapered
she was smooth, concave and saucer-shaped
and mostly made of brand-new yielding fibre —
just the way I like to see a rocket and its rider
from the point of view of poetry & inner space.

We both slowed down; then I had signals
from her ship that I could make a link and so
(as I’m a spirited and motivated kind of guy)
I let my bridge down to her door and standing
on the floor outside I knocked it with the
then uncalloused knuckles of my hand.
“Come in”, the voice said smilingly but
little did I know I would be stood there
for some while until I realised the door
could not be opened — not even held ajar.
“Are you going to let me in?” I said.
The voice replied: “Of course, come in!”.
But once again the door would stay tight shut.
“Come in! Come in!” I knocked and knocked
till callouses formed upon my hands and,
like a fool, at that closed door I softly stand.
“Come on! Come in!” the voice insistly toned.
So then I tried the handle and I pushed it hard.
A metal bar inside the lock I also poked.
It did not give and I began to twig there was
a game afoot or some dumb kind of joke.

So I then turned my heels and walked away,
at which the voice said with some tears:
“That’s right. You call yourself a bloke.
But you just wander off, deserting me.
I stopped for you. Do you not want to stay?”
But I’d been in that place before; so I just
RAN LIKE HELL from that deceptive door.
And as I dashed across the bridge I heard
that voice still calling after me some more:
“That’s right! You run! But just remember
this: I was really truly here for you;
but you refused unyieldingly to come”.

Once back inside the safety of my ship,
although confused, I marvelled at the
whacked-out crazy moments on that trip.
But then I fell into a cosy stupid trap:
Although we had not met I had a nagging
sense of fool regret I hadn’t used an axe
to break that door. But then I soon consoled
myself I could (& should) have done no more.
For people open doors who have pure hearts
& don’t let fears (or any other needless thing)
keep them and those they want to see apart.
Neither do they drive them into using force;
for force and love (like fear and love [a wall])
must always be inimical and contrary and
never can be merged in hip or prick at all.
That rocket rider plainly wasn’t serious or
true enough for people such as me and you
(or so I hope you’ll feel when this portfolio
of words and cosmic deeds is reedly through).

Finally, I thought: “Okay, that’s now the end;
for me there will be no more rocket rides.
On that you can without a doubt depend”.
So I scrapped my rusty craft — every tiny part.
Dumped it out on planet Zargon’s vastly wastes.
No more a cosmonaut, I quickly pressed
gave up my worthless pilot’s role and into many
wildsome parallelish worlds I coolly strolled.


© Alan Morrison, 2015

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