The Messenger Approaches


Thirty times or more blue Terra has swung

‘round Sol since Mariner stared down upon

this firefly of a world. From Earth

it is but a sequin “star” – hard to find

behind the fading glow of a marmalade-hued dusk

or a frosted lavender dawn – but now I rush

towards the Sun a crescent Hermes is revealed.

Before me wheels a world of wonder!

A cosmic cannonball covered in rock and dust,

its crispy-thin crust cratered and cracked,

wracked by meandering rupes, the Sun’s cruel

heat beating down on its light-drowned, pseudo-

lunar lands where no man or woman

will ever stand without fear of death by fire and flame…


But safe behind my shining shield I steal a glance

at Mercury’s scythe-sharp, sickle blade face.

No trace of detail on that rocky slice just yet;

but soon, soon that seductive slice of silvery light

will turn into a glowing orb, and as it grows

before my eyes I’ll marvel at new sights

and send their pictures back to you, waiting

in front of your flickering screens to see

what Hermes has been hiding all these years.

Have no fear, it will have been worth the wait…


© Stuart Atkinson 2008

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