When explorers and adventurers die

Their restless spirits fly to Marineris.

No other place on Earth or any other world

Could hope to satisfy their wanderlust

Or thirst for beauty.

John Muir’s ghost is there, hiking the high ridges,

Gazing adoringly at the colours of the raw rock

And stone with Ansell Adams – still groaning

Under the weight of cameras and plates –

Following close behind. So I won’t be surprised if,

When they return, the first astronauts to explore

Its canyons and chasms will swear they saw shadows rippling

Across the walls of rock and felt a thousand eyes

On their backs as they tracked

Across its floor, will insist they heard voices

Carried on the martian wind as they stared

At the long strip of sky above them…


© Stuart Atkinson 2018

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