April 4, 2017 Poem: “Rain on Mars”

NaPoWriMo 2017 April 4

Rain on Mars

They all say it’s impossible.
Our weather wizards agree:
it’s as highly implausible
as a mesmerizing story,

or blue wisps of lyric
glued to scaffolded iron,
some scrambled chimeric
with the head of a lion.

Cold spring times on Mars
blows with blossoms of rust.
When you reach for the stars,
what you’ll find is: just dust.

Those are the facts
for what they are worth.
For magical acts
down here on Earth,

if you’d rather ponder
how things might look,
then climb up over yonder,
and dive into a book.

Leslie Schultz

This sculpture, just a few blocks from my house, is one I see most days. It inspires me, and I have been contemplating a poem about it for many months. Not this poem!  A deeper, more reflective, true-science under-girded epic was what I imagined. This actual silly set of verses was inspired by the sculpture’s name and its siting. Perhaps I can write the one I imagine in the future.

Mars has long fascinated me, too. It was thrilling to send through NASA’s visionary program of poetry and probes, one of my haiku about the red planet on the MAVEN mission. And it was fiction–specifically reading Ray Bradbury’s classic, The Martian Chronicles, when I was in middle school–that ignited my imagination about the cosmos. Still not much of an astrophysicist, but I can identify Mars in the sky these days and tell a planet from a star.

Here on Earth, I feel very glad and so lucky to live in a place that values art and science–a place of the joy in liberal arts. This sculpture project, fourth one in a series created by students at the Northfield High School, was funded by a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) with money made possible by Minnesota’s visionary Legacy Amendment, and supported enthusiastically by the City and the people of Northfield.

So, today, if I can’t be Martian, color me Minnesotan!


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

2 thoughts on “April 4, 2017 Poem: “Rain on Mars”

  1. Another great poem, Leslie! I may not comment every day but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy every poem. I’m just struck by the whimsical sense of wonder in this poem. It’s 40 and rainy here and the poem and the photo of the sculpture AND the Legacy program brought sunshine to the day.

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