O Mons


I dreamed I climbed Olympus Mons

(Not just on a whim, I’m not daft; I packed

Some sandwiches, a flask and a Mars Bar).

The stars were still out when I set off from the Hab and drove

To the volcano’s base, turning my face to the sky

And the summit, so ridiculously high above me

It was almost in space, and after a deep breath

Began my quest to reach the top.

Scaling the escarpment was the hardest part;

Climbing those ancient, lava-lapped cliffs,

Four El Capitans high, but after that it was just a

Heart-pumping hike to the caldera

(Someone once biked it! Crazy!), past Pangboche

To Clayborne’s Castle and the last stroll

To the centre of the Venn diagram of overlapping craters

At the summit, to sit silently on the dusty ground

And listen to the sound of the wind whistling through

The cliffs surrounding me, a choir of ghosts

Singing the songs of ancient Mars…


© Stuart Atkinson 2018

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