Sadly it’s a myth that the Eskimoes

Have 50 different words for snow

But I know martians – real martians, the long-limbed

Pale-skinned children born beneath its twin moons –

Will have many more words to describe

The beauty of their Homeworld’s sky.

We can wax lyrical all we like about

The salmon-pink hues of the late afternoon sky

Above Olympus Mons, or the sepia and titian tones

Painted above Endeavour’s rugged rim,

But our words will come nowhere close

To capturing them. Only those who walk beneath it,

Hand in hand, laughing with their lover,

Or staring up at it sleepily from the cradle of their mother’s

Arms will be able to describe the glory of a sunset

Seen from Marineris’ floor, or the raw wonder

Of sunrise at the pole on New Year’s Day.


© Stuart Atkinson 2018

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