And so – Solander.
Another hill to climb; another ascent
Into Barsoom’s honey-hued sky;
Another chance to seek and find something new,
Something to make the geeks and Beakers
Back on Terra tremble with delight.
Perhaps another teasing trace of clays,
Trapped in these Vienetta layers of rock?
Or another Homestake? Not like that half-baked
Effort back on Cape York’s western flank,
But a proper meaty slab of gypsum,
Stained by Time and thick as Popeye’s arm,
Wide enough for my hungry RAT to gnaw on,
Eating into it a millimetre at a time,
Disembowelling it to expose the geological giblets inside…
All I want, if I’m honest, is the view.
Worth the wearying climb past all the broken
Boulders and standing stones;
Meandering around the ancient ledges and ridges;
Crawling over the scree to see Endeavour
From above. Oh, how I’d love
To look back across the plain and see Eagle Crater
Again, marvelling at how far I’ve come;
Tracing my zig-zagging tracks right back
Across the Great Dust Desert of Meridiani,
Past all those dunes and meteorites
To Victoria’s golden cliffs,
Where I had already spent ten rover lifetimes
“Doing a science” before that hipster scientist
Even thought of the term…
And so, Solander.
Another hill to climb, another page
Of martian history to re-write.
Time for these so-tired wheels to roll
Once more, splitting and cracking
More stones older than Earth’s Moon
En-route to yet another Somewhere New…
© Stuart Atkinson 2013