"Mission Accomplished": Poets at NASA. Sign the Change.org petition to put poets on NASA staff.
NEW! "Mission #2 Accomplished": Starship DARPA. Read about it, sign the Change.org petition.
     If you work for NASA, we'd be interested in hearing from you. to the mission status board:


click this button to send NASA a message to hire staff poets.

Mission Accomplished

Hope is the thing that kicks in when worry isn't enough
and every direction is met with stalls, blocks and defeat,
when the way up is not up; when it is, you can't get to your feet.
That's what hope is. Rough resignation disguised as "I'd rather,"
promises wearing  gowns of maybes, tomorrows that never happen;
"why bothers?" whenever enough really isn't "Enough!"

Change ain't hope. Has no use for it, and if it did, it can't wait that long.
Change is a nag that says " Nothing has happened and probably won't,
the endless revisions of what ought to be with nothing to help it along.
"Not my bag?" that's fine and dandy on the way to nowhere at all,
where 'what-ifs' eat yin-yang like candy, the I Ching is too indecisive.

Rocket science is  not required to know what needs to be changed,
there's war and hunger-  a list of inequities far too long to be named;
the looting of those who had barely enough to begin with,
and those who have nothing at all- reams of serious problems
that cry out to be solved. So why pick on one that seems
last on the list? What bites about NASA I couldn't resist?

I asked them just this, "Does NASA have any poets on staff?"
to document things otherwise left unsaid. "If not, why not?""
the query incised  ( I'd hoped they had poets to render
the beauty and wonder of all, as no one else could.)
What I got in reply was surprise:
"Thank you for writing to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
To learn about working for NASA, please visit the NASA Jobs page
<link here>.
The NASA Occupations page <link> lists the types of jobs at NASA <frustration>
and has links to the qualifications for the jobs." (in which 'poet' doesn't appear)

Should I worry or hope for the faint light of change, 
the clearing of smoke in the air? It's not like the hungry,
the war-torn, the homeless. No nuclear plants gone awry,
or tsunamis that don't care if victims survive. Why bother?
Does it matter, I thought, if something at NASA is rhymed?
They do wonders on little enough; & there's bigger fish to be fried.

Still, it was the place where change once hung out, 
where hope gladly stepped to one side. "Do it!"
took over in launch after launch; a new sense of pride,
a change in the world that no one could hide
(three years NASA tried;  Stewart Brand made 'em show it); 
where "Mission Accomplished" meant what it meant,
and much more than a flag waved with pride.

I'm not looking for work, didn't ask for a job; 
as for hope, it's not needed where change is in store. 
But is it, if such simple questions are bobbled 
and the challenge thrown into the mix so evaded, 
that one suspects much more is broken,
 than mere o-rings that needed a fix? Could I refuse
after all that I've said, to pen one more letter to NASA
while you click a button; TEN...NINE...EIGHT...SEVEN...SIX...*

    To the Mission Launch Pad  

Whole Earth

Today begins dismantling our pride and so much more
as the last shuttle weaves through the loom of sky,
when NASA was a public commons of that most uncommon kind
and our imaginations journeyed free among the stars.

It was for all to see and none to own, the wonders that
were launched and skyward sent, that thunder in our bones
that took us to the shores of space and well beyond  
to where the curiosity of children play in its embrace.
It was for us to wander on the sheer expanse of wondering
thatin each giant step, stepped across the commons of our mind. 
Return then from each journey with incalculable wealth, 
the knowledge of the orgins and destinies of humankind.

To step upon the moon or glimpse the birthplace of the stars 
where far beyond, we watched amazed as telescope and island sky
made limitless those gifts delivered up to our surprise.
One of them , though very near to dream, a photo 
from the shores of space that none of us had ever seen.
Though NASA sought to keep it to itself, one of us 
insisted that it be revealed, for everyone to know 
the gown of blue-white mist, that silent grace 
and all we'd ever know of home, The Whole Earth 
ours to keep or give away. Has NASA come to be  
the journies end, proprietary stuff, and whose to say?

Before the darkness drops and what once was is gone, 
before the face of silence that lay heavy on her brow
without a tear nor any witness to her fate— 
what happened where we stood dry-eyed and watched
the crumbling edifice, a vision dimmed   
where less of us remains—hold on to what is
further than the furthest star, closer than your eye 
is to this page. It is the 'whole earth heart' within, 
forever ours, or ours alone to give away.

    To the Mission Launch Pad

Mission notes & documents [from most recent to earliest]:

[Mission #2: from redslider to NASA 3/31/2011 3:13 pm]
Subject: Question not answered

Dear NASA, 

I do not think you understood my previous question (see below, 3/28).

What I asked was,  "Are there any poets on NASA staff?"  and, "If not, why not?"

I am not interested in a job, I am not looking for work.  The question is self-explanatory.  If that is difficult to understand
then you may go to http://holopoet.com/Poems/mission-accomplished.htm  for a more detailed specification.

Thank you for your kind attention,

Red Slider,
California Advocates for the 21st Century
[Mission #1.b: from NASA-Education 3/29/2011 7:22 am:]

Thank you for writing to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

To learn about working for NASA, please visit the NASA Jobs page http://nasajobs.nasa.gov. 
The NASA Occupations page http://nasajobs.nasa.gov/jobs/occupations.htm  lists the types of jobs at NASA and has links 
to the qualifications for the jobs. As with many government agencies, NASA uses contractors at the various NASA centers 
to help fill positions. If you go to the link below, you should find some helpful information.

We hope you find this information helpful and thank you again for writing to NASA.
      -- NASA Education

You are encouraged to visit http://www.nasa.gov frequently for the latest NASA news and information.

To stay aware of current educational opportunities and new NASA educational products, subscribe to the EXPRESS mailing list. 

NASA also invites you to consider using one or more of the following easy and convenient communications tools for receiving 
NASA Updates on the exciting work NASA is doing.
*         Subscribe to E-mail Delivery - Simply go to www.nasa.gov, enter your e-mail address, set your delivery preferences, 
           and choose your area(s) of interest.
*         Receive Updates by RSS (Really Simple Syndication) - NASA RSS Feeds are available at http://www.nasa.gov/rss/index.html
*         Join Twitter at http://twitter.com/NASA
Mission #1.a From: red [mailto:red@holopoet.com]
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 6:16 PM
To: education@nasa.gov

Does NASA have any professional poets on its staff; to document its history, 
its people, its ideas, activities and projects in ways that cannot otherwise be said?

If not, why not?

Thank you,
Red Slider


Mission Name Mission Description Status Reference
Ite/Agog 7/9/11: launch 'The Poem Not Taken' completed poem
Inyan 7/4/11: Change.org Petition for NASA Poets Launched Pending Change.org
Ksa2 3/31/11: Resend question to NASA Education Pending hololtr2
Ksa 3/28/11: First Inquiry to NASA - "Are there poets on staff? if not, why not?" mission failed hololtr1a

Mission Name Mission Description Status Reference
Aiode I 8/18/11: Launch Change.org petition pending Change.org Petition

© March, 2011; red slider. All rights reserved.

  Go to top of page


[Mission-Accomplished 4/1/11 11:40 am:]

TO:  All Mission Control Status Board Stewards:
FROM: Red Slider,  MIssion-Accomplished Project Steward
SUBJECT:  Status-column Designators

Please note the following Status-column designators for Mission-Accomplished components:

'Mission-Accomplished'  -  To be used only at the time a Poet-in-Residence 
                           is installed within the NASA organization and their 
			   office and staff are fully functional.  Mission completion.

'completed'  -   Any part or subpart of Mission-Accomplished that has been carried to 
                 completion.  "completion" does not imply a satisfactory result; only 
		 that the part/subpart was done as specified.

'pending'    -  Any part or subpart of a mission that is still active and awaiting 
                further developments.

'failed'  - Any part or subpart of a mission that concluded unsuccessfully.  
                     This may generate further mission/subpart descriptions in the future, 
		     but the failed item is done/scrubbed.

'abort'  -  Any part of subpart of a mission that was terminated before completion 
                    for reasons other than failure (see above).

'Mission-Unaccomplished'  - not an option.  
                             This term must never appear on the status board.  
			     Don't use it. Don't think it.


Red Slider, Steward
Mission-Accomplished Control

    Related article: "Is Poetry Necessary, or is the Question Obsolete?"

    Poems for Change' index
    To Red's website