In 4 billion years, or so, our Milky Way galaxy will begin to merge with Andromeda. The merge will be complete in 7 billion years.
Night sky as Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies merge
Sail, Sail thy best, ship of Democracy
-from “An Old Man’s Thoughts of School”, by Walt Whitman, 1874
Apollo on the moon did six times land;
Now, Artemis, her brother’s steps to trace,
will lead us on to giant leaps as dreamed
by Man for ages past and by Mankind
for ages yet to come; We dream. We sail.
The frailties of our mastless ships, our comrades lost
who only to this Earth again will land as dust;
these lessons learned from rockless, barren shoals,
of time and distances, and orbits met,
of windowed capsule doors, of parachutes and
ocean splash-down rendezvous with sea-bound ships
that steady on their courses found their ways
by sextant, map and compass still; we learned
of stiffened O-rings in the stratospheric heights,
of oxygen escaping on the launch pad,
voltage levels, and of mathematic units mixed.
But no ship built by man is strong enough
to turn back all unknowns, as learned Odysseus.
No mission plan nor plotted course foresees
all ends when blithely sail we past the edge
of land, and sea and night, our very sky.
And yet, we sail, and dream and sail again.
Resume we now our voyage outward to
those swirling stars that seem so constant hung.
With Artemis we run. With bow strings new
we hunt the manxome foes of ignorance and fear.
Paul Guernsey Player © 2019/07/20
mankind’s biggest game
before we moved into space
we learned self-control
when not dangerous to life
lifted quarantine from soul
Paul Guernsey Player, Copyright © 2018/06/09
from mankind’s next big game
to mankind’s biggest game
In order to hopefully remove confusion induced from the disagreement of verb tenses, going from present time to the future. Mankind’s biggest game allows the second line to leap into the future without the reader having been set first in the present. It also implies the relative importance or size of the games in question. The game of learning self-control is explicitly declared as senior.