It was a Japanese Space Agency
probe that landed and filmed. I imagine them
cheering, exchanging high-fives, bowing
to a boss who came through, beaming, to offer
deserved congratulations. Traditionally
poets, even lifelong slum-dwellers, knew
the names of birds, wildflowers, trees,
which enabled them to put readers
and themselves in a landscape.
I never did. I could learn –
the probe brought samples back –
the composition of those rocks, but
no need. Two peaks, a crevasse,
the one narrow ledge where it landed.
A constant snow of frozen nitrogen.
Absolute glare and shadow, rocks,
and sheets of sun-warmed gas “blowing” off
or emerging from funnels. I suppose
the gases create atmosphere enough
for their own small sound.
— by Frederick Pollack
Copyright ©2021 by Frederick Pollack. All Rights Reserved.
Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness (Story Line Press; the former to be reissued by Red Hen Press), and two collections, A Poverty of Words (Prolific Press, 2015) and Landscape With Mutant (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). Many other poems in print and online journals.