Hole Truth


Look at that beckoning circle of black.

Darker than a dying shark’s eye,

a hole cut out of Mars’ ancient hide

revealing – nothing. Nothing At All.

No light falls on the far-below floor;

this is not a doorway but a pit

and deep inside it secrets lie in wait.

No world beneath is glimpsed

through this perfectly-punched puncture

in the planet’s brittle crust; just

more black, more emptiness,

a lack of everything is all we see

beneath this round-rimmed void.


It’s as if one of Sax’s laser beams

screamed from the salmon sky

and bored into Barsoom right here,

cauterising the wounded, light-seared

land… but more likely a giant’s hand of a meteor

smashed through the stone to the underworld

below, where no sol-light has ever shone

and millennia of darkness have passed

in cold, silt-softened silence.

Once lava, scarlet as Sauron’s eye ran

under here in smoking smears; for years

red and orange rocky vomit belched

through countless corridors of heat-and light-

baked stone yet this one alone has been revealed,

its shielding ceiling stabbed through by

who knows what. All we know is that all

are cold now, weaving and meandering

beneath these badlands like dust-clogged

arteries running through a mummy’s corpse.


If I stood shaking on its crumbling ledge,

daring to gaze o’er the edge of this abyss,

what blissful wonders would I see?

With my torch beam slicing through the gloom

would I swoon at the sight of stalactites

jabbing down like serpents teeth

from the ground beneath my feet?

Or on the shadowed floor far far below

would my sweeping light ray show

a carpet of pastel-paint hued life?

Enough streaks and plumes of green and blue

to make some cry “I KNEW it!”

Or would a Balrog’s fetid breath blow

over me before I felt its flaming whip

grip my ankle and drag me to my doom?


(c) Stuart Atkinson 2007

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1 Response to Hole Truth

  1. Pingback: And now for something completely different…Kepler! « beyond the cradle

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