Scroll right
across strange wastes
worn mundane by fingers
defiling the bright coinage of

These hills,
horizons, &
mesas are nothing to
gape at — Arizona drives much
the same.

Just add
a few cacti
& stifle that rumor
of water, anybody might
move here.

It's best
to keep rolling,
imagine road runners,
coyotes, heat mirages of

No need
for the real trip,
the Big Red Kahuna:
let robots suck Marsdust while we
scroll. Right?

Copyright © 2005, Ann K. Schwader

Martian panaroma taken by the Spirit Rover, January 2004

Ann K. Schwader's first collection of dark fiction, Strange Stars & Alien Shadows, was recently published by Lindisfarne Press. Her poetry has appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated, Mythic Delirium, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Strange Horizons, Modern Haiku, The Formalist, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Westminster, CO. Visit her web site at: