But Never Trees.

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Across the sea of endless stars, Foundation probes go ever far.
Past alien suns and alien seas, past alien bears and alien bees—
But never trees.

On every world that teems with blue, where plants are plenty or even few,
They land their craft and journey thus through canyons, plains, and lush,
But never trees.

On the thirteenth world of Zeta Nine are flowers, bushes, even vines.
Grasses, mosses, and algae too, that color water green and blue—
But never trees.

And on the crags of Kronbul-kai, rocky pillars stab the sky.
They drink in sun and breath out gas, yet lacking leaves to let air pass—
They are not trees.

Says O5-4 to O5-3, "In all the stars, how could this be?
There's lions, cattle, even geese… cotton, flax, and even fleece—
But not one tree."

They argue, writing through the years, as data flows like distant tears,
From worlds that dance and spark with life, worlds at peace, and worlds of strife—
But not of trees.

Mankind leaps from dying Earth beyond the cradle of its birth,
Diaspora, long meant to be, stellar manifest destiny—
But not for trees.

And humankind now rules the stars from ancient Earth to black holes far.
On every world that's home to man, they've brought from Earth the life they can.

But never trees.

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