David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Apollo 19


I’m writing this in a cellar, deep
In the earth, by candlelight,
Keeping my head down nightly from
The fall of meteorites,
New York is totally empty, like
The rest of the world, I bet,
The buildings stand, but you’re still not here,
You haven’t caught up with us yet.

The mission was rather secretive
The last of the current set,
The Saturn V’s were in overdrive
Though NASA was deep in debt,
It was one last fling at the race in space
When we left, that afternoon,
And headed out for a crater, placed
On the dark side of the moon.

There was no overt publicity,
You didn’t know that we went,
They said that it was the only way
To avoid an argument,
So there we were on a course that should
Be part of our history,
But you never knew this Apollo flew
Right into a mystery.

There was nothing to show, all systems go
‘Til we sailed around the side,
All transmission was ended and
Our earth reception died,
The Captain, Jeremy Hanson scanned
While we sat down to wait,
Cramped in the lunar module there
For crater 308.

We blasted off and we flew straight down
To sit on the crater’s floor,
We didn’t know what we’d find down there
No man had been there before,
When we clambered out, each filled with doubt
We couldn’t believe our eyes,
For there was a massive, ancient ship
Of a quite incredible size.

At first we thought it was dead and done,
Been there for a thousand years,
Covered in rust and lava dust
With all that that infers,
But presently there we saw a beam
Begin to flash in the night,
It flashed alternate red and green
And gave us a terrible fright.

A section started to open up
A stair that led inside,
‘What do we do? ’ ‘It’s up to you! ’
Said astronaut McBride,
I knew we’d never forgive ourselves
If we didn’t explore the ship,
I said, ‘I’m game! ’ He said the same,
We were wary, I admit.

We made our way to an upper deck
But there wasn’t a sign of life,
Just a million L.E.D’s
And a thousand flashing lights,
The ship was running on nuclear power
The reactor panel glowed,
‘So why is the thing still sitting here? ’
McBride said, ‘Who would know? ’

He reached on out and he flicked a switch
Before I could say ‘Don’t touch! ’
His hand lit up and a beam came down
And it turned McBride to dust,
I turned and ran for the stairway then
It was more than I could take,
Jumped back in the module, called the ship,
‘We’ve made a grave mistake! ’

I didn’t get any answer then
So I launched back to the ship,
Flicked the switch for the auto-dock
And I sat there, feeling sick,
I climbed back into the cabin, saw
The Captain sitting still,
But stared on into his visor, and
The sight gave me a chill.

For staring back was a skeleton,
All that was left of him,
And I was the only astronaut,
The only living thing,
I set the course in a sweat, engaged
The auto-pilot too,
The date whirled round on the panel
Stated,2022.

And now I wander a city that
Exists ahead of mine,
While you’re all living in ‘78
I’m stuck in another time,
You people haven’t arrived just yet
To fill the city’s streets,
But now it’s blasted with meteorites
That seem to arrive in fleets.

And up above is a mother ship
That hovers out in space,
It must have waited a thousand years
In crater 308,
The crew is dead but the program said
To follow all signs of life,
To track it back to its starting place
Attack it with meteorites.

I leave this missive ahead of you
To warn of a coming fate,
You’d better go up with a nuclear bomb
To crater 308,
I’m hoping that you can reach the ship
Before it starts to climb,
And save the earth from a time of dearth,
Yours truly, Andrew Clyne.

16 June 2013

Submitted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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