11:3: “Launching Atlantis”, by Ann K. Schwader

11:3: “Launching Atlantis”, by Ann K. Schwader

Already half a legend, it ascends
on fire & breathless science into skies
which opened at the heartbreak moment. Child
of compromise, it falters — shivers — then
shakes off our doubts, as oceans far below
receive its rockets like outriggers lost
by refugees from other waves that rocked
their world to myth.

          Did these who died unknown
(aside from Plato’s fables) understand
too late their stars had vanished? Or did they
take up the plow, the loom, the sword . . . the screen,
embracing the mundane? An eagle landed
visions for us, too, before times changed.
We now resume our slow retreat from dream.

Ann K. Schwader is the author of Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press, 2011), Bram Stoker Award finalist Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam’s Dot, 2010), and four other collections of speculative poetry. She is an active member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA. Find out more from her LiveJournal, Yaddith Times ( ankh-hpl.livejournal.com ) or at home.earthlink.net/~schwader/ .
She says:

I’m a child of the Apollo era. Although Wikipedia informed me that the shuttle was not named for Plato’s lost continent, the link was too apt to ignore. I had the first line or two at least a month early, but watched the launch on July 8th with tears in my eyes. The rest of the poem showed up a few days later.

Apollo 11 Eagle illustration is provided by NASA and is in the public domain.

One Response to “11:3: “Launching Atlantis”, by Ann K. Schwader”

  1. Diane says:

    Beautiful! It launched on my birthday!

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