Sunday, July 24, 2016

Space Dust and Human Ashes (Part One)

Look closely at your hand. Everything you see there has been on this planet in some form since the beginning of earth time. That used to blow. me. away. The outcropping of new life forms and new lives from the original blue bobble we call home as we dance about in our galaxy. (You can see how I try to grasp this concept in "Space Travelers," below.) And yet . . .

 My son and I recently discussed getting oxygen to oxygen-challenged planets by taking a “garden” along. (Ref: the recent movie The Martian.) Steve Klein's interest is not merely casual or serendipitous. When he’s not bonding with and caring for the rescued big cats at Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory and Education Center in Louisburg, Kansas, he’s perfecting a hydroponic garden network there. Add to the mix a high school reunion where he spent time with his friend Doug Adams, who was on the Mars rovers team, and you can follow the convergences here--finite land for endangered species, innovations in agriculture, and that handy red planet just over yonder.

This is Steve's high school classmate Douglas Adams (right),
who helped engineer the EDL (Entry, Decent and Landing)
of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

By the way, I recently read that there IS something new under the sun--space dust. Imagine that. Teensy granular visitors from other planets--other worlds, really. Right here in our own backyard. 

So of course the next generation is contemplating their expanding universe, which is fascinating and forward-looking and inevitable.

In the meantime, somewhat ironically, I find, my peeps and I are beginning to engage in riveting and sometimes chilling discussions of intriguing new ways to hide, or even preserve, human remains on this planet, which is also inevitable.

[To be continued]

Space Travelers

(from "Catching Up the Baby Books" series)

That man--your father, my first husband--
tells you the years
have brought him no closer
to an answer, any certainty,
to the clef that deciphers
why more space was needed
why we had to part,
and I marvel how illusive for him
is that little truth
I've carried like a mole
uncertain when it  first appeared
but knowing its origins lay coiled
deep in the genes when my mother's ova
were in her mother's ova in
her mother's ova--that infinite strand
of DNA that links the eons
and tells the stars
when and how we will be.

I began leaving your father
before I met him,
some capricious time warp
inventing our mutual history
and allowing the miracles of you
who anchored us to the planet marriage.

It is not easy to reconcile
a fourteen year error.

Imagine a computer set to one task
electronic pulses like flashing
chips of mica dancing in faster
and faster whorls
realigning and redefining
in patterns as intricate and fragile
as baby bones against
the smoky field of an x-ray.

Imagine that after years of this electronic composing
you discover one day that you
started with the wrong equation . . . 

At what point do you poise your finger
over the key marked "escape"
and watch the chips fall
and settle into dull drifts
like space trash upon the pocked
surface of the moon.

And what then of you
with your twice severed cords
now adrift in this upturned bowl of sky
doing your best to shine
in all directions
to sustain this altered constellation
this extended family.

#author #writer #writerslife #spacetravel #poetry #marsrover #douglasadams #steveklein #cedarcovefelineconservation #hydroponicgarden #conservation


  1. I thought I could be
    what he wanted of me,
    but I knew deep inside
    that I couldn't

    Because he didn't know what he wanted.

    I thought if I was the perfect wife
    We could build a perfect life,
    Again I knew it wouldn't work
    Because he wanted conflicting things

    A wife, a lover, a mother at times
    And then he wanted me to go away
    Until he needed one of those personas again.

    I was just supposed to know
    when he wanted me to go
    and when he wanted me back.
    I was never to ask who I was supposed to be
    or what he had done while I was gone.

    He didn't care where I went when he wanted me gone,
    he didn't want to know what I did.
    He didn't want to know about the kid and
    he didn't want people to know he was married.

    I tried to play by his rules for too many years
    I couldn't always hide the tears which I know always made him angry.
    So I left when he wanted and came back when he wanted
    and knew I was hurting my child.
    So finally I stopped. And forty years later he still thinks I'll come back if he calls.

    No way.

    1. Just saw this. Painful, and heartfelt, and a. killer last line. Kudos, and thanks for sharing!



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