In this video he reads his poem “If Only We Had Taller Been.”
It was a place half in the sky wearing the green of leaf and promising of peach.
We’d reach our hand and touch and almost touch the sky.
If we could reach and touch we said, it would teach us not to, never to, be dead.
We ached and almost touched that stuff; our reach was never quite enough.
If only we had taller been and touched god’s cuff, his, his hem.
We would not have to go with them who’ve gone before,
who short as us stood tall as they could stand,
and hoped by stretching, tall, that they might keep their land,
their home, their hearth, their flesh and soul,
but they like us were standing in a hole.
Oh Thomas, will a race one day stand really tall?
Across the void, across the universe and all,
and measured out with rocket fire,
at last put Adam’s finger forth; as on the Sistine ceiling,
and God’s hand come down the other way, to measure man,
and find him good, and gift him with forever’s day?
I work for that, short man, large dream.
I send my rockets forth between my ears,
hoping an inch of good is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal mall,
“We’ve reached Alpha Centauri.. We’re tall... Oh God, we’re tall!”
Rest in peace Ray. We will miss you.