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Playing with Fire
Part of Space Poetry Family
Titan 2
Titan 2
via the Titan II ICBM Web Page
Credit: (c) Don Boelling
Poem: Remember silos of sentinels?...

ICBMs 1960 – 1990

"Do you think it was right we developed these rockets?.. We did it for spacefight, but we needed the support of the military … we hoped they would never be used in a war against people…"

                         - Wernher von Braun, on his deathbed. 1977.

Remember silos of sentinels?
titanium sentries, cold warriors of a cold war
waiting thirty years for the order that never came
thirty years under the button that was never pressed.

Bells of Columbian resonate with lunar joy
you were an underground army that never fought
an underground air force that never flew
you could have been mass murderers :
you whose only fight is against rust
& budget cuts of museum directors.

Wernher & Sergei played with fire, atomic apocalypse
gambled with our lives
to get the bills paid:
gambled that you, faust riding a microchip,
would only become
our stirrup to the stars.

ICBMs – Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles designed to hurl nuclear bombs across the globe.

Wernher von Braun (1912 – 1977) & Sergei Korolev (1906 – 1966) were the leading German-American & Soviet rocket engineers of the cold war, but whose real aim was spacefight.

--Keith Gottschalk





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