2016-01-11

The Red Planet Blues


Not exactly about David Bowie.  Not exactly not about David Bowie either.

If we've learned anything, it is:
  1. embrace the ambiguity
  2. reach for the future
  3. never stop reinventing yourself.
Iain Banks wrote in Excession of the Zetetic Elench a faction split from The Culture who believe in investigating the Universe by allowing themselves to be actively transformed by the beings and cultures they meet.  The Elencher ideal is that if a member of another advanced civilisation, say The Culture, were to meet a member of the Elench twice, they would have no way of knowing it was the same individual.

Does that sound at all familiar?

OK, enough waffle, on with the poem that isn't about David Bowie.  I must have others that aren't about him either, but this is the one I remembered just now.




The Red Planet Blues

Ziggy played guitar,
     jammin' good with Weird and Gilly...


There are no spiders
on Mars, spinning
in bone-cold canyons
to trap unwary space cadets.
There are no great domed cities, shining
pale in the brave red sunset. There are no get
of Edgar Rice burrows;
no green, six-armed warriors
riding thoats or laying eggs
in odd moments
out there in the rusty desert. No Martians for the chronicler
to document their steady decline
after the Earthmen came.

Earthmen must come.
It is necessary.
Pick up the pickaxe.
Start digging a canal.



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