Larry Kilham Blog
There's been a lot of talk about human missions to Mars. I have a different perspective as you can see below.
THE ROBOT AND THE UNICORN
The robot wandered our desert
preparing for the exploration of Mars.
The creatures chirped and yowled
“Who is snooping in this paradise of ours?”
They agreed that wily coyote
should talk to this blinky thing.
He asked, “Are you smoking peyote
or are you under alien programming?”
The chastened robot turned to go
when a galloping creature with a spiral horn
pulled up in a cloud of dust
and proclaimed, “Yes, I am a unicorn!”
The unicorn said to the robot,
“Believe in me and I’ll believe in you.”
The robot blinked and clinked and replied,
“Fine, let me tell you what is new.”
“I’ll search for ways to live
on the barren plains of Mars
and someday I will travel
to the planets of the neighboring stars.”
The unicorn spoke confidentially,
“Everyone loves me
so we should travel together,
wouldn’t you agree?”
“What will you do?” the robot asked.
“We must stay alive.
With no food on board,
how will you survive?”
The unicorn smiled and said, “I do PR, my man!
I can report from the boring mission
stories of mystery and charm.
From you the logician and me the magician.”
“We unicorns absorb energy from the sun
or from whatever star is near
like you do from your solar panels
so come on, let’s get in gear.”
Now outer space is a lonely place
and a stranger sight you might never see -
the robot and the unicorn
exploring a dead Martian sea.
They set up their antenna
and broadcast to Mother Earth:
“Your lights are glowing in deep dark space.
The source of all hope and progress
is Earth and the human race.”
© 2019 Larry Kilham
I wrote this for my friends Wendy and Bonsall Johnson, owners of the Parlor Car B&B in Chama, New Mexico, the southern terminus of the steam train line to Antonito, Colorado.
THE STRANGER IN THE PARLOR CAR
Chugging through echoing tunnels
and over the awesome trestles
the proud old steam engine
bound for Chama chugs and whistles.
Hardy folk stand in the gondola
happy families cluster in the coaches
but today the parlor car has but one fare -
the tall stranger from Nacogdoches.
The stranger strides past the waiting crowd
at Chama’s old-time station.
He sports a perfectly cut suit and a ten-gallon hat
but avoids casual conversation.
The stranger saunters into the Boxcar saloon
and he asks for the best place to stay.
Everyone all agrees, “Go to the Parlor Car B&B,
located just a stone’s throw away.”
There’s a rap rap on the door
as Wendy peers through the glass
“Bonsall, dear, we have a visitor
and he’s certainly a man of class.”
The stranger doffs his hat
and smoothly says, “Evening, Ma’am,
what luck I’ve found your place!
Do you have a room for a traveling man?”
“We do. Please enjoy our finest suite.”
The stranger notes the elegant interior
with furnishings by cultured hosts.
“Looks mighty fine. Sure wish I could stay longer.”
The train whistle wakes Wendy and Bonsall
announcing a glorious new dawn.
They’re planning a fabulous breakfast
but the mysterious stranger is gone!
A letter arrived for Wendy and Bonsall
signed by the governor of Texas
saying in part, Your B&B is the best
lil ol’ hotel west of the Pecos.”
(c) 2019 Larry Kilham
Award-winning author Larry Kilham was a high-tech entrepreneur and world traveler. Larry finally settled in his native Santa Fe and has written four novels and seven nonfiction books. These focus on creativity, invention, and artificial intelligence. Currently, he writing poetry about reconnecting with nature in our technology age.