The Martian Chronicles

Everyone remembers the first time they read it,

How helpless they felt as they watched Captain Wilder

Chasing Spender through the crumbling city ruins;

How they laughed heartlessly at the image of Genevieve

In her wedding dress, stuffing her sticky face with chocolate;

How their heart sank as they watched Earth die in Mars’ purple twilight…

 

“Dark they were, and golden-eyed”… That single line

Got inside my head like an eel larva from Ceti Alpha 5,

Burrowed into my brain and I was never the same.

Burroughs’ John Carter had taken me to a Narnian Mars,

With flashing swords, sultry princesses and monsters

All teeth and claw, but the Chronicles gave me more:

Rockets landing in reverse, a generation before Musk was even born;

A genuinely alien alien firing furious bees from a gun;

Impossibly-beautiful ships racing over Mars’ cinnamon sands…

Every time I hold it in my hands I’m on Mars.

On Mars.

On Mars.

 

© Stuart Atkinson 2018

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