Canals of Mars

July 8, 2016


David Jibson lives in Ann Arbor, MI, where he is an associate editor of Third Wednesday, a literary and arts magazine. He is a member and events coordinator of the Crazy Wisdom Poetry Circle, which supports and promotes poetry readings and workshops.

How glorious, the canals of Mars,
as Percival Lowell described them.
How dry the red Martian desert.
How welcome the relief
of water pouring from the polar icecaps
flowing like life’s own blood
through the arteries and veins
over the surface of the warrior planet.

And where they intersect,
a sprawling city of crystal towers,
home to the great university
where once a year in Martian summer
great minds gather to debate the theory
that there could be life on Earth.

Too close to the sun’s deadly heat,
the philosopher-scientists say.
How could it be

Too wet and the air to heavy to breathe,
argue the philosopher-physicians.
Nothing could live in those conditions.

Even if life could exist there,
argues the philosopher-poet,
how could one write music or poetry
or fall in love under the influence
of a single moon?

© David Jibson

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  1. Matthew Pitlock

    I Love the rhetorical question in the last few lines.

  2. Mary Soon Lee

    I enjoyed this poem very much, especially the wonderful closing lines.

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