Monday, December 3, 2012

Olga Cabral

Race to Mars

Red Planet are you ready for us?
Through four billion years you have been sleeping
now we come with Earth's gifts
we will make you an offer you can't refuse

Ah what designs we have in store for you
nothing less than CREATION itself
your future mapped out century after century
your fate is sealed
we will step upon your primeval sands as gods
gods in space suits
and plant the flags of our quarreling nations
amind your raging red dust storms
on the fields of Mars the banners of CIVILIZATION will fly
though your whirlwinds tear at them furiously
in the end we will conquer

AWAKE AWAKE you are soon to be afforded colonial status
your stock sold on Earth's stock exchanges
your lurid rocks brought to bear the first LICHENS
as in our own Arctic tundras
but our tundras are up for grabs
though they brim with abundant creation we must destroy
                            what we have
because we need OIL
OIL for our bomb factories our heated swimming pools

While we nurse fragile life into existence on your deathbound
your rust-red escarpments of terrifying nakedness
we will be killing off goodly numbers of Earth's own living
magnificent triumphs of nature's laboratories
not to speak of our human species we have become so good at it

Beware the grid the imprint of the technological foot
the astronaut's first booted step as he lands from his space ship
we come with our visions we have written your fate in the stars:
sterile fruits of a warped civilization

Red Planet are you ready for us?
We are staking our claim.

fr. Voice/Over: Selected Poems
[Albuquerque, NM: West End Press, 1993]

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