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Sunday, June 28, 2020


by Martha Landman

According to a new study in The Astrophysical Journal, scientists at the University of Nottingham estimate that there is a minimum of 36 communicating intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. —CBS News, June 18, 2020

sitting on the veranda the other night
enjoying a hashish pipe
I got dreamy
and disappeared into the Milky Way
passing Venus and Mars
I didn’t stop this time
because they had a domestic quarrel   again
                                      palm to palm
my sky map forged me ahead      to Orion
who offered beer and cigarettes, chips and cheese
Conselice was staying the night
his nephew E.T. played with his Rubik’s Cube
                     trying to solve the Drake equation
we sat on a mega rock   Orion and I had a long chat
                                           between wake and sleep
about alien galaxies meandering around
when his laser phone detonated three loud shrills
it was Peter Backus wanting us to know
“we live in a very quiet neighbourhood”
Orion’s eyes were large      I tried to pacify him
quoting Rumi: “Love is the breath of the cosmos”
he took out his horoscope and zoomed in
                                      on other galaxies
stars were born as we looked at them
alien galaxies were signed in different languages
in front of No 23 a sign on a large wooden gate
said in Hebrew:  תישאר בחוץ לעזאזל – “stay the heck out” -
this is holy land      we assumed
         we needed an exit strategy
we weren’t going to make a covenant with hypocrisy
or with gypsies on walking sticks    their blood green
so we flowed down lava tubes through pigeon holes
                                into a glorious dystopia

Martha Landman writes in Adelaide, South Australia and has previously contributed to TheNewVerse.News.  Her chapbook Between Us was published by Ginninderra Press in November 2019.