Mars & Beyond $12

“Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto,
so shalt thou see the Gate at which, when thou knockest,
it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.”
— John Bunyan / Pilgrim’s Progress

If starry space no limit knows
And sun succeeds to sun,
There is no reason to suppose
Our earth the only one.…
For look! Within my hollow hand,
While round the earth careens,
I hold a single grain of sand
And wonder what it means.
Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life’s mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.

— Robert Service

Poem Selection from Mars & Beyond

Bars of Martian Light

Mars the thought of Mars within the very idea of Mars itself

Mars draped in cloaks of blue roses

Mars in an inaccessible place looking at herself in an
inhospitable mirror

Mars with a reputation for war in a rusted helmet and a
pockmarked moon satellite in wobbly abeyance

Mars on everyone’s mind since childhood bogeymen
with long necks and tiny heads capable of zapping with one glance

Mars down the road to the right past the burning
barn the rolling black hills under a bright chartreuse sky

What ten-headed animals with multiple feet graze
on the barren surface of Mars?

What hidden technologies beyond basalt and silt
dust-storms and permafrost in the hidden atmosphere the
invisible borealises and subtle visibility shields
of Mars?

Some of us have no doubt been there and found it
mildly strange those who move freely through the
entire universe by their own divine illumination

Mars a little red speck in your right eye here let me help you
and your third eye bright as the
Lighthouse at Alexandria one of the lost Seven Wonders of the
World able to send a laser beam all the way to Mars

Mars Bars!

2/2/2004 (from Mars & Beyond)

Go to Poem



Light everywhere moves with an anonymous precision
over smooth terrain or rough-hewn scabrous dilapidation
up stainless steel smoother than glass or through
sick teeth of alligatorish quadrupeds or millipedes
proceeding not with caution but full speed ahead
going at its own sudden rate faster than most everything
spread like God’s lightning fingers wherever they may point
unjudging and unjudgmental though throwing light in all
seemingly inaccessible cracks and corners
leaving no stone shadowed in its path
from this visible pen-scratch to across the entire galaxy
this selfsame light (though right

now as it’s night I’m writing by electric light)

flotillas of ignitious angels even they bathed in its endless icy
silvery glow
penetrating far into the dark

and all our own faces show up in it changing expressions either
good or ill though we usually put our
best faces forward in full-lit lineup or in
low-lit romantic bistro

as little actual star flashes float in the air to some soft electric
organ music

He is Light Light of all the heavens and earths and He said
“Let there be Light” as if there had
been none before though planets like dolphins
leap through its rippling waves as they

lovingly pursue it

Light like the ocean of our hearts our most natural
aqueous element in which waves of light are our most
nutritious moisture

God’s flags that unfurl past the
endlessness of the end from before the
beginning of the beginning

where we can only wave goodbye to
everything we ever knew or will know

yet even here find ourselves
bathed from head to toe

in Light

3/9/2004 (from Mars & Beyond)

Go to Poem