If You Left For Mars



If you left for Mars
Strapped into a space capsule
Like a strait jacket

It’d be because
The other patients back home
Trashed the asylum.

Being gravity free
In your jet-propelled tin can
You’ll find your body decides

Your skeleton’s of no more use
So your bones start breaking down
And are excreted.

You may land on Mars
As no more than a boneless blob,
Spilling out of the hatch.

“Progress,” said Karl Kraus,
“Is a Pyrrhic victory over nature.”
Boneless astronauts

May not cut a dash
As they slide out onto Mars
As quivering lumps.

Alexander the Great
Resented his father, Philip
Of Macedonia,

Leaving him nowhere
For him to conquer.
“But there are the stars!”

His father replied…
Two millennia later
The stars are waiting,

Twinkling and waiting,
As heroic life-forms flop about
An infinite megaverse.


Heathcote Williams

By Heathcote Williams

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