600 Frame Flypast


Red planet rolling!

A bolide-battered bowling ball, falling

Through the great and endless black;

Called “Barsoom” by some,

“Ares” by so many more, for centuries all

Spoke its name with reverence and awe,

Casting thrilled or fearful glances at it

Blazing in their god-packed skies,

Wondering why it shone so bright,

Why it burned with such a violent,

Bloody hue… None knew then

Of its ancient rusted rocks, Everest-mocking

Volcanoes and Grand Canyon-shaming vales…

But today we watched it wax and wane

Through VMC, Mars Express’ smallest eye

And sighed, wishing we were there

To see it for ourselves, our faces pressed

Against the portals of our ship,

Staring at Ares longingly, like Cathy’s ghost

Gazing into Heathcliffe’s window,

As we slipped into the Red Planet’s shadow…

(c) Stuart Atkinson 2010


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