We never got to visit the swamp, that wet-world, closer to the sun. Large, like a female to our male, she swings herself by her massive moon a distant dot of air and water.
On the shores of our polar sea, we’ve traced our ancestral remains. Under reddening rocks were signs of shells, of skeletons, impressions of a sudden variety of life.
Our ancestors used to wade across lakes, carrying young and food in their forelimbs. Later, we learnt to place stone on stone, build shelters, smelt and hammer metal, forge tools to dig dirt and sow seeds.
We grew mighty over all eating creatures, named the stars and dreamt of flight. Our canals carried water from the pole, to sluice away the red-grey dust and freshen ourselves and our crops.
But year by year the north-lake shrank then vanished. Chill winds swirled around. Not just the cities are gone, but the small towns we remember, their libraries and circles of friends.
We few are holders-on, having no young, struggling to grow grain in thin, icy air. This and hunger make us giddy and weak, like our compasses, yet I still diamond- scribe on glass these lines, not knowing.
Biography: Retired now from research in Physics, Michael is kept busy as a yoga teacher and therapist. He lives with his wife on the edge of Pamber Forest in the north of Hampshire, keeps an allotment and helps with parish affairs.