Some Quick News

Just a few quick news items:

1) I have a photo blog on Flickr now, so take a peek at some of my eerie and dramatic photos. Most recent postings are from our November 1 outing to the North Burial Ground in Providence. The photo show is at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brettrutherford

2) I just learned that soloists from the Erie Philharmonic performed a chamber work by Pennsylvania composer William Alexander last October, titled, "Suite from Whippoorwill Road." This work, for flute and piano, is based on several poems from my collection, Whippoorwill Road: The Supernatural Poems. Composer Alexander has already written a song cycle, some madrigals, and several symphonic poems based on my work.

3) I just heard from an undergraduate group at Brandeis University, with a request to perform my play about H.P. Lovecraft, Night Gaunts, next spring.

4) My poems, "Pepper and Salt" and "Monday Miss Schreckengost Reads Us Little Black Sambo" will appear in the Rhode Island Writers Circle 2010 Anthology, due out in March. My poem "Fete" has been selected for inclusion in an anthology from Mythos Books titled The Supernatural Poem Since Homer. And, for the third year running, my poem, "Viking," about the Viking lander arriving on Mars, has been licensed for use in state reading exams in North Carolina. This poem also appeared in On the Wing: American Poems of Air and Space Flight (University of Iowa Press, 2005). For those born only lately, a note: Viking I was launched in 1975 and took eleven month to arrive at Mars. The lander ejected from the main ship touched down on July 20, 1976, man's first presence on the Red Planet. For four years, we received data about Mars from this unmanned robot.

I'll share the poem here:

VIKING

I did it.

Who would have thought
that such a hulk
of rivets and scraps
could cross a sea of space?
You named me for voyagers,
for men who ravaged harbor towns,
content with seizing
their women and gold.

Cool were the hands
that made me. Few cheered
when I embarked in flame.
No one expects a golden bounty
at the end of my crossing.
A strange tide carried me
weighted, then weightless,
then tugged to ground again,
devoid of passenger
and pilotless,
not even a goddess
carved on my prow.

Little was left of me
when I touched down in sand.
I did it:
before the alien hordes you dreamt of
could launch their fleet,
I touched this desolate
and long deserted ground.
Well earned, the name
you gave me. I dared
your greatest dream and won.
Salute me, my maker:
I invaded Mars.

Comments

  1. Has this been rewritten since it was published in "Future Life" or "Starlog" or "Omni" or one of those? I've long remembered this poem fondly, but this seems different from my memory.

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