The Earth Rising

Clive Wilmer

The men who first set foot on the bleached waste
That is the moon saw rising near in space
A planetary oasis that surpassed
The homesick longings of their voyaging race:

Emerald and ultramarine through a white haze
Like a torn veil – as if no sand or dust
Or stain of spilt blood or invading rust
Corrupted it with reds, browns, yellows, greys.

So visionaries have seen it: to design
Transparent, luminous and, as if new-made,
Cut from surrounding darkness. Praise the Lord:
For Heaven and earth (the psalmist sang) are thine;
The foundations of the round world thou hast laid,
And all that therein is. And plague and sword.