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A distant spiral galaxy Once symbolized tranquility. The stars were awesome, but serene; Novas were few and far between. But now the starry firmament Is known to be more violent. Pulsars rotate and radiate At so immoderate a rate, And nebulae ethereal hide Such nasty fireworks inside, One can’t be sanguine any more About what nature holds in store. Puny beside a pulsar’s jet, The Bomb is still a greater threat. Trajectories of neutron stars Are comfortably far from ours, Whereas the Bomb is dangerous Because it’s pointed right at us. Even when orbiting in space, It targets Earth, no other place. However imprecise its aim It will destroy us just the same— Unless we first can find the wit And courage to dismantle it.

— Chandler Davis

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