The Storm


The Sun has almost gone now,

fading from my sight behind

a molasses-murky sky, and Earth’s

post-sunset sapphire spark

is just a distant memory.

I cannot move, and new Victorian vistas

must await until Sol’s golden glow

warms my frozen heart again for I am cold,

so cold, and feel ten thousand sols old

as I stand here, fearful that the dust I see

fouling the sky above me will fall suddenly,

smothering me, Mars murdering me

with a deadly pillow of particles

pushed down against my face –


But I am not dead yet, and although

I itch insanely, and would scratch myself

to wreckage if I had been built with hands

I shall stand here, sentinel-still, until

the sky begins to clear… or I hear

my stubborn heartbeat begin to slow,

and then I’ll know my stay

on Meridiani’s rolling plains is at an end

and you, my faithful friends Out There,

must promise not to mourn for me

but celebrate my life and all the wondrous sights

we saw together. Never think

of me with sadness but be glad

we walked this world hand in hand,

cresting wind-carved dunes,  swooning

at the sight of sunlight painting

Endurance’s epic walls,

falling to our knees in awe as

Victoria’s rippled floor opened up before us..!


But trust me, while a single warming spark

sputters on inside my shivering heart

I will prevail, and as the dust clouds sail

across my sky I shall just close my eyes

against the wind and bide my time,

for Barsoom gloomiest, darkest day

is still a thing of beauty… And if I am to die

here I will still have lived a life

far longer than was planned in this land

of rock and stone. Meridiani is my home,

and if Victoria is to be my lonely

tomb then there is no view I would rather see,

as I drift into my final sleep.


© Stuart Atkinson 2007

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