Letters from some Friends # 5.

Carl Sagan

On Mars...Wind blown clays... complex surfaces that can absorb and release gases and catalyze chemical reactions. A kind of soil chemistry that does the same thing life does...
respiration and photosynthesis

And all this time

the answers lie, residual
beneath our feet.
Well as I live and breath...
So does my dust. Returning to dust
is only a slight

But was that a primordial clay?
I walked across?
Should I shake
out my socks,
collect grains
from my shoes to compare
with that Martian meteorite
atop polar ice
right here on earth?

In my day we sent out Vikings
to answer such questions

All these and more I have asked
between launches, literary prizes
and marriages with children.
Billions and billions of stars
to distract me. I loved them all.

So do me a favor next time
you consider the Universe,
Begin with circuses and the Indy 500,
and all the city lights at night.
And speculate about the soil
watching, and laughing
at our clumsy efforts at evolution.
A squamous layer of clay
waiting to be discovered.

L. Fullington

If you've any comments on this poem, L. Fullington would be pleased to hear from you.