“New Space Station Crew Launches” (Dick Whyte)



picking up a
second-hand copy of
I spend my last night
on earth alone





“New Space Station Crew Launches” (Happy News)


Poem by Dick Whyte (see editor biographies). Read more by this poet.




  1. TerryO'C

    Dick, I really enjoy the ambiguity. Quite funny that the thought of a man the night before his wedding or of the end of the world should be two of the interpretations I got from this.
    All works to nice effect, thank you.

    Although, methinks you would dearly love to aboard one of those launches ?? Nice days in space would be a nice change of scenery.


  2. Ikiru

    I like this one, Dick. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut actually, so I can relate to the feeling here (and growing up reading Cosmos and watching the series). I had three things against me: (1) I’m terrible at math (2) I’m terrified of rollercoaster rides and I can’t even handle a merry-go-round (I can fly in planes just fine) and ALSO (3) I have terrible eyesight.

    By the way– I did not know about this, until today (and I know it is the 8th there now, being on the other side of the Intl Date Line), but 7 November is Carl Sagan Day! I suppose you may have known that and that was another reason you posted this tanka up yesterday…


  3. Ikiru

    Oh, your getting married this weekend, Dick? You do seem to have been a bit scarce it seems the past couple weeks, perhaps this is why! LOL

    Congratulations & the best to you and your significant other! :-) :-)


  4. Dick Whyte

    Thanks for the comments guys-

    Terry: Man, you know it’s true!!!! I would so love to be aboard the spaceship going into space. I guess it was the reference to Sagan that gave it away. As he says, “The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.”

    Josh: Hahahaha – yeah, I think all of us wanna-be astronauts are fucked by how hard it is in terms of math. I mean, you need to be super-smart to work those machines in a spaceship. The calculations are intense and you have to be able to make a lot of them in your head. OMG – I had no idea that the 7th was Carl Sagan day – what an AMAZING coincidence. I have been watching a few of his clips on YouTube recently – especially the one using a vocoder which turns his words into song. Have you seen them? They are called The Symphony of Science. Here’s a link to the best one, in my opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_WK_yBBVdA

    Not sure where you got the idea I was getting married this weekend. I got married last year, at about this time (September 25th I think – my wife and I have been confused actually – its definitely the 25th, 26th or 27th but we haven’t checked which one exactly yet). So we did just have our anniversary). I have just been very busy at work unfortunately, and a lot of my spare time has been going into researching and trying to write a book about philosophy (and what I call protophilosophy). But it isn’t going anywhere yet. I have th basis for it, but I am finding it hard to get into the writing and everytime I write something I do a little more research and find out I need to revise, and so on. Arrrggghhhh – oh well, good things take time.

    Thanks again to both of you for the lovely comments.

  5. Allison

    this one really gets me – makes me think of Raymond Carver and other American writers like that. Seems sort of mythic and flat at the same time. I can really feel the longing and loneliness of this person.

  6. Editor

    Thanks Allison – yeah, it does have that sort of feel to it doesn’t it. I hadn’t noticed actually, but once you mentioned it I totally see what you mean. Makes me want to read some Carver or John Cheever.

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