All who look down on her from high, high above
Fall in love with her rich royal blues
And luxurious verdant greens. Seen
From the Moon, even chisel-jawed astronauts
Swooned at the sight of her shining high
Above their snow-white helmed heads:
A bubble of air, shining right there
Before their startled monkey eyes, coin-sized,
Close enough to touch, a foil-thin bauble
Plucked from a Christmas tree and tossed
Without a care into the inky dark.
A wet, warm oasis in the desert of deep night.
One day she’ll be seen from Mars – Barsoom’s
Very own Evening Star: a lantern-bright
Beacon beaming above the volcano-ridged
Horizon like Gandalf’s staff, casting flint-sharp
Shadows behind the wide-eyed pioneers
Who trained for years to find Life on that rusted,
Rugged world: a new life for themselves,
And also, they dream, life of Ares’ very own.
Watching her set behind mighty Olympus settlers
Will cry, remembering those back home;
But their Mars-born babes will simply shrug
And walk away, saying “It’s just a star to me…”
And on some distant, dimmed by the Mists of Time
Day, when Mankind has left Sol far behind
A girl of tender years will climb an alien hill
On her homeworld far, far beneath the Milky Way’s
Great disc and, standing on its summit, try to find
That legendary star shining above her head.
But beneath a sky awash with suns, each one
A sequin sewn lovingly onto the spiral-embroidered cloak
That forms that world’s night sky her search
Will be in vain. “They all look the same”,
She’ll sigh, and quietly make her way back home,
Surrendering Sol, and Earth, to history.
© Stuart Atkinson 2007