For one whose bright and dark eyes have
Seen so much summer,
Breathed so much autumn,
Drunk so much fine dandelion wine:
Will I ever be half
The Martian you are?
Could I ever create a carnival with even a quarter
The pandemonium of your porch?
And if I awakened in Waukegan
And waited one hundred boyhoods in
The magic stillness of a summer's first dawn
Would grandparents wake and cook my hotcakes?
Or should I rise and cook them for myself?
And if pedestrians viewed only screens at night,
Would something wicked their way come?
Every boy has his own Whale to wrestle into
Such is our mission.
So now, before the ferris turns again,
I must run to board the Rocket.
The firemen follow close behind.
Ray knows his book.
I must learn mine.
Published in an anthology titled, When the Black Lotus Blooms (Unnameable Press, Atlanta, 1990), this poem was written as my own humble, loving tribute to a great writer, but one of the proudest moments of my life was when I showed it to Mr. Bradbury at a bookstore in Atlanta. He silently read it and whispered, "It's very fine."
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