Life On Mars

After getting hooked on Bowie’s “Is there life on Mars?” for a couple weeks, came across this in The Portable Jung

It is particularly fatal for such people [those who sequestered their youth] to look back. For them a prospect and a goal in the future are absolutely necessary. That is why all great religions hold out the promise of a life beyond, of a supra mundane goal which makes it possible for mortal man to live the second half of life with as much purpose and aim as the first. For the man of today the expansion of life and its culmination are plausible goals, but the idea of life after death seems to him questionable or beyond belief. Life’s cessation, that is, death, can only be accepted as a reasonable goal either when existence is so wretched that we are only too glad for it to end, or when we are convinced that the sun strives to its setting “to illuminate distant races” with the same logical consistency it showed in rising to the zenith. But to believe has become such a difficult art today that it is beyond the capacity of most people, particularly the educated part of humanity. They have become too accustomed to the thought that, with regard to immortality and such questions, there are innumerable contradictory opinions and no convincing proofs. And since “science” is the catchword that seems to carry the weight of absolute conviction in the contemporary world, we ask for “scientific” proofs. But educated people who can think know very well that proof of this kind is a philosophical impossibility. We simply cannot know anything what so ever about such things.

May I remark that for the same reasons we cannot know, either, whether something does happen to a person after death? No answer of any kind is permissible, either for or against. We simply have no definite scientific knowledge about it one way or the other, and are therefore in the same position as when we ask whether the planet Mars is inhabited or not. And the inhabitants of Mars, if there are any, are certainly not concerned whether we affirm or deny their existence. They many exist or they may not. And that is how it stand with so-called immortality — with which we may shelve the problem.

Watering the Artificial Tree

The tree was artificial. To save myself embarrassment and to avoid the sad truth, every day I’d water the tree, hoping the damp earth that supported lifeless limbs would detract and speak care where there was no life to care for.


Out of some undefined desperation
 foot after foot to the little pond
 for some kind of respite
The bright blue sky
 weakens overhead
Despondent to perceive the giant cloud looming
 I turn back
 watching my shadow disappear before me
A bright bloom of light taps me
 on my shoulders
 turns me around
The sun peeks through
 beckons me join it
 in its descent into darkness
 saying, “wait”
Entering into the cloud
 like God seating himself on His throne
And the beautiful charcoal of the proud
 only serves to contrast
 so much wild brightness
 its fringes lit in white fire
Fixed eyes remain peeled
 to take in such piercing radiance
Now knowing I never stare straight
 into the pure, generous incendiary sun
Only in such special tainted moments
 can I witness glory
 with my unabashed human vestiges
Thunderstruck, I gape
 at its brazenness
 as it proceeds through
 a feathery chaos
 irradiating every wisp
Light on light on light
 wafting and pulsating
My jaw drops and I softly
 exhale a silent joy
In perceiving the blue sky
 revealed as a dazzling,
 ethereal, secret green sea
And gaze in wonderment
 at the world flipped in a wink
 into some vast oceanic kingdom
As off in the distance
 some cute puffs cheekily
 sport ruddy pink

Rock Climbing At Great Falls Into a Relaxed Tavern

I go to the edge of a Great Falls cliff. I go past the velvet crowd rope, and climb.

I climb up and to the right. It’s hard and fun.

Some children stand from where I left. They want to follow; their mother needlessly objects.

There on the next cliff are the feet of a ne’er-do-well. A green sofa chair supporting a baseball capped loafer gradually comes into view as I reach up my hands against the pull of the cliffs and gravity; he casually leans over and lends me a hand.

As I regain my footing, I find myself in a wooden tavern and get a hearty meal for myself.

I Knew Him, Once

scurrying about
 “I’m Lost,” he said
He tripped
 field to field
 countryside to countryside
 galaxy to galaxy
“Here I am: lost,” he said

There a garden grows

Baby Elephant Biker Crosses My Path

Riding my bike down a tunnel near a stream. Another bike comes up beside mine. It leans into my path. I veer closer to the stream. It cuts into me. I fall into the stream. The bike rider is a baby elephant. A lost baby elephant.

I tread back, with bike in tow, towards the beginning of the tunnel in order to climb out of the stream. It’s going to take a while. I’ve forgotten how long I happen to have been biking in the tunnel. And the baby elephant, it needs to be taken care of.

Skiing with Brian, Overheard

Went skiing with Brian. It was a pretty good time.

I tried some of the black diamond hills… umm, glad I made it down alive, but it wasn’t that bad.

We ended up finding a great hill “the sidewinder” pointed out by a veteran skier. Made a poem out of it.

We happened to go the evening that did there own winter Olympic’s opening ceremony. Just as we were deciding to call it a day we walked out and into the preparations for it. It would take place at sunset. We got to talk to the organizer and cameraman beforehand. The organizer alluded to the person who wanted to do it on a bit of a whimsy and build the 1 story torch device with his special knowledge of pyrotechnics. The cameraman was a laid back victim of circumstance of duty. Long lines of volunteer skiers holding torches from various hills took a long, peaceful time getting down their hills. Once they all got down, the main torch was lit.


“You suck the fun out of everything: Funsucker!!”

“Monica, overcome your fears!” (In a tone implying she should be excused from braving it) “I already did.”

Blowing Upon Your Lake

I blow upon your pinwheel soul
The cattails bunch and swoon
 gently, easy
The lone sailor upon your vast lake
 delights in his full sail
The clouds hurry across the sky
The mountaintops
 receive the lightest touch
  of icy precipitation
Meanwhile, the fish
 swim, pondering your depths,

Numinous Twilight

Black forest
creek churning neath your roots
encircling me with your lofty reach
 toward the heavens
the lavender cloth
 of the universe
  revealing your tender touch
the high–vaulted ceiling of your branches
 wreathed in the fairy–lights
  of the cosmos


Upon the advice of the sage
 Who under–valued himself
I followed my instincts
 to my grandparents’ graves
The largest orange ball I ever saw
 lingered, staring, sunsetless on the horizon
I found myself in a vast tundra
 snow anonymizing the headstones
and realized I would never find them

I found myself amid the shrubbery
 Gazing at a statue
 Some ode to summer
  I first thought of Daphne
   the cruel beckoning of innocence
Her regal repose, fully human
 rump reclining atop a vined column
 a jump–rope of flora in her hands
  changed all that
   I thought of Fragonard
Where snow buries graves
 Here, it was petals of the season
  accentuating her flowers
  As white stone escaped
   from the black barnacles of time
    in spectacular bare shoulders
     and graceful arms
Oh, gorgeous stomach
Oh, flowing, robust curves
Oh, folds, enfold me in every part
Oh, neck, throbbing with life
         whose pronounced crook
                        speaks the truth
                        take me