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Introducing a new series of poems by Julian Matthews. Julian is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet published in The American Journal of Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Borderless Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dream Catcher Magazine,  Live Encounters Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and The New Verse News, among others. He is a mixed-race minority from Malaysia and lived in Ipoh for seven years. Currently based in Petaling Jaya, he is a media trainer and consultant for senior management of multinationals on Effective Media Relations, Social Media and Crisis Communications. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and Nikkei Business Publications Inc


By Julian Matthews

If a poem is written but never seen, does the universe still read it?
If a song is composed but never played, does the universe still hear it?
If art is created but never shown, does the universe still value it?
If a dream is dreamt but no one remembers it, does the universe still awaken to it?

If a rock on Mars cracks open and no one sees it—does the universe still care?

Oh solitary, fractured rock on Mars,
we earthlings, scientists no less, “discover” you after millennia yet still choose to insult you—
Isn’t it just typical coloniser mentality to make fun of the natives?
To infantilize your broken-ness
To invalidate your existence
To excavate your insides—
and rip your Martian heart out?

If a rock on Mars cracks open and no one sees it, does the universe still care for you?
Yes it does.

I do.
You are no one’s “primal fault”
The universe peers into your sol and sees your shiny centre
It cradles your alluvial despair in its sturdy hands
It perceives your rough edges as only poetry
It lowers its ear to your fissure and hears you sing
And when it is quiet, late at night
and you cry alone, it lulls you to sleep—
and paints you a Venusian dream

Note: Poem was prompted after NASA’s Kevin M. Gill tweeted a Mars rock captured by the Perseverance Rover and labelled it “Butt Crack Rock”

First published in cc&d magazine, a Scars Publication, USA also available in magazine,

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