Mars Being Red – Bell

red monoprint of nude woman with poem by Marvin Bell

In a red world, imprint

the valentine and blush of romance for the dark.

Marvin Bell (b. 1937)

I went out into the desert to see the NEOWISE comet at the end of July (figured I wouldn’t be around to see it the next time in 5,000 years) and also saw a spectacular show from Jupiter and Saturn. I fell asleep before Mars rose blood red in the sky, but my friend told me about it in the morning. I’ve been thinking about Marvin Bell’s poem and my red monoprint from a couple of years ago ever since. The original post, including a little about Mr. Bell, is here.

I also did some experimentation with my old polaroid camera when I was out in the desert. This is what happens when you try to take a picture of a cactus with only car headlights for illumination:

For reference (and to alleviate the nightmarish quality of the polaroid above!), here is a nearby cactus in the early morning light:

On a side note: I am really terrible at self-promotion, so I have told exactly one other blogger-friend, but I do have an Instagram account! (@merb02 or click here) I admit when I first started on IG, it was basically a repeat of Illustrated Poetry, but from here on out, it will be new and different pieces from what I post here. So if it’s your jam, it would be great to see you on IG too.


  1. Jupiter has been so bright, even here in the city. Sometimes I see Saturn too. I envy you a sighting of the comet!
    I love the RED of the monoprint too.

    I find night photography mystifying. I never know what I will get. (K)

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    1. We joked that Jupiter looked like a disco ball up in the sky that night. The comet was very temperamental, I was surprised because the news coverage led me to believe it would be easy to spot and it wasn’t.

      Me too! I was looking up tips online for polaroid photography and found a note that it is a technique best suited to “well lit or bright lighting situations” – I guess car headlights don’t cut it 😀 But the result was interesting!

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    1. I would have appreciated it! 🙂 My friend does astro-photography and so I think he was completely caught up in his time-lapse…

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