Terra’s Tale


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



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