On The Comet


Imagine exploring here, bouncing across these dusty plains,
Your soot-stained boots crump-crumping down again and again
As you worked your way ‘round boulders big as barns,
Leaping off ledges, hopping off outcrops,
Your footprints a Space Age Oregon Trail leading back
To where you landed your fragile craft,
Invisible from where you stand, half hidden behind countless
Hoarfrost-coated hills…

Imagine standing in the shadow of a shark tooth spire;
Blocking out the blazing, molten silver fire
Of the Sun, feeling the ground rumbling beneath your feet
As the Sun’s growing heat thaws the comet’s frozen soul,
Sending house-sized boulders rolling in slow motion
Down charcoal-coated slopes, mosquito clouds of dust
Pushing ahead of them as they silently slide, slide, slide
To a halt beneath the ebony sky…

Imagine walking through this land of standing stones,
Where the far horizon, with its coal-black Matterhorns of snow
Is so near you feel you could reach out and touch it
But daren’t, lest dragon claw thorns of ancient ice
Sliced through the fabric of your glove, flash freezing your hand
Before you even had time to realise what you had lost;
Before you could look down and scream at the sight of your fingers
Crystalising into glittering popsicles of mulled wine blood…

Imagine standing here, gazing up at the sky,
At a fragile metal butterfly passing overhead,
Seeing a tiny, shining spark spin away,
Dropping down towards you: little Philae,
Falling, falling, destiny
And her place in history calling…

(c) Stuart Atkinson 2014

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