First Man after First Corinthians 13

Though I speak with the tongues of Spielberg and Kubrick, and have not First Man, I am become as The Black Hole, or Red Planet.

And though I have the gift of Roddenberry, and understand Arrival and The Martian, so that I could span gulfs, and have not First Man, I am missing out.

First Man suffers long, and is our kind of kind; First Man envies not; First Man vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,

Does not behave itself unseemly, understandably seeks its own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil;

Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in truth;

Bears many things, believes many things, hopes many things, endures many things.

First Man never fails beyond redemption.

For we know in part, and we worship the past in part.

But if that which is perfect should come, then that which is made great again in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away many childish things.

For now we see through smart devices frantically; but then face to face: now we know in part; but then shall we know even as also we are known.

And now abides The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, Gravity, and First Man, these four; but the greatest of these is First Man.

5 Fragments from New York City

Wheat & Tares

MoMA Prelude
Urgently, I text my mother
from near Times Square.
I tell her I just ate
a falafel burger!
In Kentucky, she reads
my text and grins.
I know this because
she introduced me to falafels.

The Starry Night to Naked Eyes
From five paces away
I see rolling waves
of dreamy blue.
Gentle suns encircled
by curling breeze—
brushed flourishes
like cupcake frosting.

My Birth through Photographs
From a distance, I see
lots of nudes, walls filled
with snapshots in the raw—
probably one of those
in-your-face feminist exhibits.

Up close, I see I’m right.
But I also see fetuses
halfway to born—walls
papered with graphic birthing
portraits of mothers mid-
contraction. Breathing
before everything I’ve ever
wanted to say about life
in poetry, I feel won over.

The Starry Night through Glasses
From five steps back, I see
chipped lines of confrontation,
glinting starbursts contained
by abrasive…

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Sample the galaxies

Here’s a visual treat worth a few minutes of your day. This week, the Planetary Society’s blog benefited from a showcase of galaxy images prepared by Adam Block. Mr. Block is Astrophotographer for University of Arizona Steward Observatory. The above image of NGC 918, as seen through a haze of “galactic cirrus” clouds, is just one example.

Even better, the post’s galaxy images come with easily accessible larger versions, enhancing the detail and sense of grandeur. Adam clearly loves what he does for a living, speaking of a galaxy’s countenance and giving a picturesque nod to Isaac Asimov. I highly recommend this post:

Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: The Cosmic Ocean