News Poetry: Come Back, Carl Sagan

Come Back, Carl Sagan

We need your words
more than ever
tell your cosmic wisdom
to the haters
with whom lovers share
earth’s common ground
on the Pale Blue Dot.

That’s here, that’s home, that’s us.
On it everyone you love,
everyone you know,
everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was,
lived out their lives. . .

Help us, Carl Sagan
show your big sky perspective
to the haters
ask them why they, only,
have rights to live.

Think of the endless cruelties
visited by the inhabitants
how frequent their misunderstandings,
how eager they are to kill one another,
how fervent their hatreds.

Save us, Carl Sagan, from hate,
fly back on a comet
stick a landing
in our consciousness
and fill it with awe.

A lonely speck in the great
enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity
there is no hint
that help will come
from elsewhere
to save us from ourselves.

The italicized quotes are taken from Sagan’s famous “A Pale Blue Dot,” depicted here in this video.


Photo: Earth as seen from Voyager One, 1994. Via Rutger Van Zuidam, Creative Commons, Flickr

Petra Perkins – former aerospace engineer, STEM education activist, “space junkie” and pilot – writes essay, memoir, fiction, humor, interview and poetry from her home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Her work is found in The Huffington Post, The Denver Post, The Readers’ Digest, Brain,Child Magazine, The Rumpus, Manifest-Station, Progenitor, ArtAscent, Dreamquest, several blogs and literary journals. Petra’s creative non-fiction story “I Know Astronauts” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2016) and she is pleased to have won the Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal in Poetry (2015).


  1. This is a lyrical observation on our current social climate, and a beautiful tribute to Carl Sagan, a 20th Century scientific giant and compassionate humanist. Carl would have had a hard time accepting the hater’s and their leaders today.

Comments are closed.