by Craig Cortright

Slowly, ever slowly nudging across red Martian dust
The pathfinder crawls with miniature steps.
Looking..tasting..sniffing the surroundings,
Ever searching for the mystic signs of antiquity.


The meaning of life is discussed in high places,
God’s meaning is discussed in burnished palaces.
But Pathfinder cares not, its purpose clear and thoughts
Unencumbered by philosophy it plods slowly on.
Slowly into the Martian night…cold beyond cold,
Dry beyond dry it searches for Martian secrets,
Secrets hid deep within the soil, deep within
The Martian soul—Pathfinder searches fearlessly on.
Slowly it crawls under a searing Martian sun,
Heat beyond heat, its skin bakes and blemishes.
Yet back at home, do the philosophers know
As Martian day slips into night, a Martian philosopher
Gazes deep into Pathfinder’s eyes
And answers their questions?