Red Planet


(on first viewing my retinal scan at Simpsons Optometry, Civic, ACT)

from orbit the wide-field camera
images buttes and arroyos
drainage basins to dark arterials;
side-scanning radar returns runs of rods and cones,
the (im)maculate macular,
the plunge over the great dark spot
deeper than Everests inverted.

A territory shaped of moving water + dust.

Image: Gullies in Newton Basin in Sirenum Terra, Mars.  Malin Space Science Systems, MGS, JPL, NASA. A quadrille for Dverse where Sarah is hosting and seeing red tonight.

And for your enjoyment the thin white duke with Life on Mars from 1971. In the same year that green suits were a thing, the space race targeted Mars: the then USSR launched two probes (Mars 2 & 3) in mid-May and the US launched Mariner 9 on 31 May.

6 thoughts on “Red Planet

  1. Thank you for Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’, Peter, and the image from your retinal scan. I have never been given a copy of mine, but last year the man who did it kindly pointed out my cataracts and macular degeneration. Retinal scans do look like Mars.


  2. Oh, wow. I read the poem and then read the title, so it was a little surprise for me. I love the way you describe that retinal scan – lots of anatomical things look like landscapes, don’t they? And I love that ending. Dust and water, that’s what we are.


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