In recent days, NASA’s rover Perseverance touched down on the surface of the fourth planet from our Sun. As it parachuted through the atmosphere of Mars, a coded message appeared on that cloth meant to slow its descent. That message–“Dare Mighty Things” –comes from an 1899 speech by Theodore Roosevelt, where he says, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.” We take that inspiration and hope the day’s poem might inspire or motivate you. We all need a PMA boost–here’s to a Positive Mental Attitude.
Dare Mighty Things
like, say, sending a probe some 139 million miles away and add some coded message to the parachute of that probe decipherable as it billows and spreads in the foreign winds of the war god’s world. chase, with perseverance, the triumphs of a vaccine in arm, first and second dose, that keeps you out of hospital beds or the victories of putting away folded laundry, of filing the papers piled under the desk, of hanging the final framed photo in a house now made plainly a home. fear not the failures of losing at checkers or losing car keys & good pens; of losing the plot in an autobiography written as you glide along; of losing a BIG BUSINESS DEAL or losing a BIG SPORTS COMPETITION or some other such inflated task. poor spirits may soothe the suffering segues that stretch between twilight and dawn; flasks of rich whiskeys may commemorate the joys in finishing a drafted novel or a degree from the universe’s hard knocks. Dare mighty things: crack the code kiss him call her help them defund the police prosecute the offenders hurry up seek justice people over profits change over comfort slow down stop Just stop, the glory and the joy are scattered along the surface-- the dust and rocks and craters of always-to-be-remembered victories and defeats. The world may never see them. But the world never need know.
©David Siller – 2021
For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.
#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.
If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021. Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !