when the aliens land…

Please don’t be alarmed by the number of postings you may see from me over the various media channels that begin “when the aliens land.” It happens more often than I care to admit to you (the postings, that is, not the landings…although I’m not ruling that out.)

I think this preoccupation with aliens began when I was a kid. I blame my brother, JD. My older brother took some certain pleasure in scaring my siblings and me with stories about ghosts and aliens. I’m not sure he knows how much it impacted me during those formative childhood years. He would tell us stories of aliens coming in the night to abduct people, to study them. He would say that they might perform experiments on us and that they’d return us to our beds before morning. We might never even realize we’d been gone apart from the persistent headache, the bruises we could not explain and the nagging feeling that SOMETHING is amiss. To this day I still look at bruises on my legs in the morning and wonder if I’ve been made to run around the woods at 3am by the aliens.

Now as an adult, everything reminds of aliens. I put everything into the context of “what will this mean when the aliens land?” It’s a little neurotic, I admit.

In any case I’ve been trying for weeks to write a post about the aliens landing but I get stuck each and every time. It sounds too immature or it sounds too preachy. The grammar is awkward, the structure is soggy, the narrative is wonky. I just can’t seem to get a grip on what it is I want most to say.

So I wrote a short poem instead. This being Poetry Tuesday…it seemed downright providential that I completed a decent draft of it then.

when the aliens land…

I hope that when the aliens land they look like angels. I think that will make the landing easier for all of us, really. Arms lean, long, willowy and made for gesturing, graceful, made for wearing long robes woven from all things celestial.

I hope that when the aliens land they catch us on our best behavior. I hope our hands are in our own pockets for a change. Boundaries built, bondage broken and chains made for connection, causes, made for anchoring in rather than acting out.

I hope that when the aliens land they will have figured out a little better what we’ve been striving for all these centuries here on Earth. I hope they will have learned something solid, something lasting, something rocket fueled, space age and sensational about what it means to breathe the air on this big blue planet.

I hope that they are willing to teach us. I hope that we are willing to learn.


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