Endeavour Calls…


What once was a beguiling, beckoning bowl –

A gargoyle-edged hole carved in the great

Meridiani Plain – is now falling far behind;

A rapidly-thinning line drawn between the high

Cathedral dome of Mars’ pastel-pink sky

And the pebble-spattered, track-trenched

Ground. What we found down there,

On the cliff-shadowed slopes of fair Victoria

Made us stop and stare in wonder:

Rocks sculpted into sheaths of brittle, broken blades

By millennia of dust-drenched wind;

Slanting shafts of sunlight shining

On the sea of sand dunes at its heart;

Book-leaf layers of ancient stone, glowing

Amber and gold as twilight faded to night…

What memories we leave behind..!


But on the flat and far horizon now

A new adventure calls, and if the fates allow,

If an already-weary rover’s battered body

Can somehow find the strength to carry on

For one more stolen year, one sol Opportunity will hear

Us scream and shout out in delight at the impossible sight

Of Endeavour’s Mordor hills looming up before her eyes.

And then, content, we will smile, re-living each heroic mile

Before telling Oppy “That’s far enough. Rest now, little one,

Your work is done.” And then, at last, she’ll sleep

A deep and dreaming sleep, with History as her pillow.

And here on Earth we’ll celebrate a noble rover’s

Journey across the endless dry and rippled sea

of the Great Plain of Meridiani. 


© Stuart Atkinson 2008


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