This poem came out of the February 8, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by tabard. It has a bifocal perspective -- you can read it as applying to an alien race, or to humanity.
They roll their eyes heavenward
and mutter about God
as their gaze slides off the silvery moon.
They have been there,
some of them,
to that moon: but no further.
The stars are visible,
like tiny whitecaps glinting
in a black lake.
Even entire galaxies are visible,
their bars and spirals and ellipses mapped out,
their names known.
Some speak about space
with longing, and point at the stars,
but they are ignored.
Huddled masses cling to their globular island,
unwilling to dip a toe into the black lake of space.
The water, they think, looks terribly cold.