The Phoenix Feeds…


… and so, at last, I dig.

For what seemed like an age I stared out

at the pebble-spattered ground stretched around

me – impatient to scratch and scrape my beak through

its dust-caked, sun-baked crust – but did not move,

even though I ached to seek out precious blue

buried beneath the red. Instead, I watched,

and as the sunlight warmed my shining wings, waited…


… but finally, I have fed! Tilting back

my weary, wide-eyed head

to bathe in the half-heat of the midnight sun

I can now feel Mars grit in my craw!

Raw, glass-sharp shards of cruel stone

mixed up with puffed up talc-fine dust;

all its iron long since rusted away to leave

behind the subtle tastes of silica, salt and sand…


… and now, as I stand alone on this harlequin-patterned

plain, finally I can feel tiny, delicious tongues of flame

flickering in my chest: stubborn TEGA, patiently digesting

its long-awaited first delicious mouthful

of brittle, broken rock and orange oatmeal stone,

and with no-one here to moan and groan

“stop playing with your food!” I will so

enjoy my feast as this Phoenix feeds, at last…


© Stuart Atkinson 2008


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