The mass migrants to Mars

stood poised to take their first step.

The Red Planet crimsoned further

by the blood of scientists who

realised the vision of a

musky monied man odoured

with fame, made into godhead.

Out of deep freeze, led by the god

who saved them, stood more monied men.

 

They had left a planet in turmoil.

A methane-filled viral sun burnt with heat.

I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe —

became the norm. The cry of those

condemned to die in the coils of

poisoned air or floods that ate

the land. No place left to stand.

Reddened by sunsets on rising seas,

humans treaded water till deadened —

leadened by weight they sunk into

an Ophelia like stupor, the kiss of death.

Lands that glowed with heat turned aflame

with dry contention. Hate scorched the last man.

 

The gods left before the last human,

before the floods; before the lands sunk;

before the kangaroos were too hard to chew;

before Liberty grew old and crumbled.

The gods, deathless, went into

cryogenic sleep. They took off while

Hunger wept pangs of putrid flesh;

while, raped, Europa fled, unclaimed by

the gods; while cows ruled, worshipped

and cherished by bodyguards

that killed and women bloodied. Tongueless,

Eve died, cremated at the dead of night.

 

They left. The gods zoomed among the stars

frozen from a cryogenic past. They waited

asleep till the Red Planet turned green.

The scientists, now unseen buried in Mars

or floating lifeless in space debris,

populated with hope, with children who only

hear of Earth — now no more — deceased.

They wait — to roll out a red welcome to the

New gods woken from cryogenic sleep.

 

The mass monied migrants to Mars

stood poised to take their first step.

 

Will the children again worship these

New gods from outer space?

New religion? New race?

New civilisation.

 

*This poem is inspired by Elon Musk’s vision for the future as spelt out clearly in this CNN report.

Mitali Chakravarty is a writer and the editor of Borderless Journal.


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