Over Heimdall




Two specks. Two snowflake flecks of white

drifting through a fire-threaded sky:

a sign that for a brief, bright golden time

Mankind reached out across the Black

and grasped the many mysteries of Mars…


Far behind and far, far below, the great hole

of Heimdall gazes at the sky, an empty eye

socket in the ice-scraped skull of the northern

plains, stained and tamed by Time,

sighing as the Phoenix flew on by…


Just two full stop dots on a portrait of

a planet far away, but their presence proves

the paws of curious apes reached out and touched

the face of Mars; built a glittering steel butterfly

to try and tell them if they really are Alone…


Two mere pin pricks on a pixelled picture, but they

scream into the dark “We failed but tried a second time!”

And like a lamp, lighting up the abyssal martian night,

those Phoenix flames ignited the sense of wonder yet again

in all who watched her landing.


© Stuart Atkinson 2008


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