Pillinger Point

25 05 2014





One day martian children will play here.
Long limbed like storks; pale-skinned Sun-starved albinos
Skipping from stone to stone,
Hop-scotching along Murray Ridge, laughing and screeching,
Kicking up clouds of carrot-hued dust with their scuffed boots
As po-faced Terran pilgrims, following the Opportunity Trail,
Look on, ticking off “Visited on Sol” rocks one by one
As they slog up Solander,
Checking the maps on their HUD Apps
Without really seeing a thing…

…While over there, perched on Pillinger Point like a pair
Of white doves, young lovers will sit in silence,
Drinking in the view through weary but wide-eyes;
New arrivals besotted with Barsoom since birth,
Their umbilical cords to Earth sliced cleanly through
The moment their feet hit the ground.
Ares is their new – and only – home now,
And laughing in disbelief at the burnished bronze beauty
Burning all around them they’ll sit, hand in hand,
On the glittering cinnamon sand, watching their shadows
Stretch across the landscape as the shrunken Sun falls
Behind the faraway hills, ignoring the sparkling sapphire
Evening Star to thrill instead at the sight
Of Phobos climbing silently up out of the Turner twilight…

© Stuart Atkinson 2014