a martian education

Linking this haibun to dVerse Poets pub where Frank Tassone is our host…


Mars, that ready, ruddy, rusty, dusty planet hangs between Earth and Jupiter; named for the Roman god of War. We contemplate his heavenly body in the mighty month of March: muscular, iron clad, and vengeful.  Is not war an erupting march to madness, leaving black death and blood-stained pockmarks in its wake?!

Violent dust storms, extreme seasons, and an atmosphere of carbon dioxide make Mars inhospitable yet aerospace scientists dream of manned flights to the fourth planet. My sons participated in a Mars project where 6th graders designed a biosphere for future immigrants. We once visited an abandoned biosphere in Arizona where personnel’s’ personal relationships were the demise of the mission.

Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles and C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy put science fiction on the cultural map, stretching literary minds and stirring curiosity in our celestial, terrestrial neighbor beyond our moon. In Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet, Oyarsa, the ruling power of Malacandra (a.k.a. Mars), declares,

”The weakest of my people does not fear death. It is the Bent One, the lord of your world, who wastes your lives and befouls them with flying from what you know will overtake you in the end. If you were subjects of Maleldil [God of Malacandra] you would have peace.”


mars’ olympus mons;

civilization’s high peak–

active volcano?


image courtesy of NASA

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Frank J. Tassone
    Mar 04, 2020 @ 18:20:22

    I love your allusions to C.S. Lewis in this one! A powerful write on the influence, and impact, of the Red Planet!


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 03, 2020 @ 14:23:23

    When I read your description of Mars, I wonder if it’s influence on us is to make Earth to be like Mars through the waging os wars.

    “Violent dust storms, extreme seasons, and an atmosphere of carbon dioxide” sounds a lot like something like Earth after the war.


  3. areadingwriter
    Mar 03, 2020 @ 02:34:41

    ahhh! this makes me want to not go there ever (not that I have enough funds as well!) ha! That last question is mysteriously good!


  4. kim881
    Mar 03, 2020 @ 01:15:15

    I love the way you describe Mars, Lynn, and the wordplay in ‘Is not war an erupting march to madness, leaving black death and blood-stained pockmarks in its wake?’ Its literary background is very interesting. I haven’t read C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, which I’ll put on my to-read list.


  5. calmkate
    Mar 02, 2020 @ 22:04:17

    I don’t plan to visit 🙂


  6. msjadeli
    Mar 02, 2020 @ 22:02:08

    Informative and interesting haibun, Lynn.


  7. gillena cox
    Mar 02, 2020 @ 21:43:48

    Goodness i wouldn’t go after reading this
    Thanks for dropping by to read mine Lynn



  8. rothpoetry
    Mar 02, 2020 @ 19:46:54

    A very uninviting place for sure… Still we want to go there…. well done.


I welcome your comments!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: