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;
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
Just stop,
the glory and the joy
are scattered along the surface--
the dust and rocks and craters
of always-to-be-remembered
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. 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 !

One thought on “#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? Day 43

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