From the first day let us start to terraform Mars,
make oceans from melting ice caps
and rivers run red through the rusty soil.
Day two let’s release plankton into the sea,
let out vast shoals of fish to feed on them
and steely predators to feast on the fish.
Day three we’ll throw spores into the sparse air
and watch the forests grow, the trees
stretch high up the slopes of Olympus Mons.
Day four let’s release mammals, birds
and other fauna into the forests and fields,
to watch them gorge on the goodness
of the land, enjoy the clarity of the sky.
Then on day five we’ll take ourselves
to the former red planet, to become
the feared Martians we thought were there.
Day six let us wage glorious, total war
among ourselves, make the rivers run red
in the name of the god who named this place.
And day seven let us rest, exhausted by labour
and lust, to examine our new abomination
from the safety of space’s vacuum,
in orbit with Phobos and Deimos
without fear or dread of another first day.
poem and image © copyright df barker 2012
*poem first published in collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available at amazon.
**image created digitally.