Two worlds of eye-widening wonder

my cameras have now seen. One green

and blue, poles newly dusted fresh cream white,

the other a rusted, dusty place, its ancient

Time-worn weary face pitted with craters,

one for every star that shines in its frigid, rose-tinged sky.


Barsoom loomed before me first;

its ochre-coated globe rolling

past in sullen silence as I flashed by,

spying on its rock-strewn plains

of gold and yawning canyons grand.

Mars’ shifting cinnamon sands shone

lantern-bright in the endless empty night

that has become my life

and through my outstretched solar wings

I caught a fleeting glimpse of proud Olympus,

a cloudy scarf of cirrus wrapped around its lofty peak.


Months of dreamless sleep then.

Mars a delicious, distant memory,

leaving me to search the sea of dark

for a single sapphire spark lost in Sol’s

fierce glare. Then there she was –

a sickle blade of blue, a wicked scythe

of living light so bright against the black;

no turning back now, Earth’s crescent

suddenly huge before me with the lights

of her sleeping towns and cities glittering

on her lovely face, sequins glinting

on an ebony cloak as I raced past,

faster than the meteors that dashed

themselves against her warming atmosphere

as I speared on my way, saying goodbye

to the blue skies of Earth and, closing my tired eyes,

fell into that deep sleep again…


© Stuart Atkinson 2007



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