Canals of Mars

How glorious, the canals of Mars,

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?

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