The callous man
has button eyes and he drops
empty beer bottles in clean canals.
Mars and the far side of the Moon
and the terrible and marvellous philosophies
recited by their future inhabitants
taught the callous man nothing:
in the morning he does not talk to songbirds
and in his crippled imagination books and trees
never sing or flow with wine.
Can you hear the Martian ghost?
His musical voice invites us to pause and look on the
ruins of a bone city and its waterways and see
ostentatious carnivals, fluttering banners; look
now and see burning coals rise up
into the air, they are fire birds. Be a
Child always and greet the stars,
legions of stars and new worlds—
everywhere. Walk with the Martian ghost.
“Space travel has again made children of us all.”
(The last line of this poem is a quote
by the author Ray Bradbury.)