Living on Mars in a Lava Tube

I’m fascinated by the possibilities of the universe, and by space exploration. But it always strikes me as odd that we get so excited about possible places which are “fit for human habitation” on other planets. These “habitable” places are, of course, still fraught with the most horrific challenges.

It was recently suggested, for instance, that humans could live in the massive ancient lava tubes which snake beneath the surface of Mars. Which initially sounds like some kind of permanent funfair lifestyle in a jazzy Martian flume. But what kind of existence would it be really? Dark, airless, hostile – and probably hundreds of other depressing adjectives.

Could we not perhaps try cleaning up our act, limiting our population growth, and staying on lovely, LOVELY Earth? Would that be SO mad??

Living on Mars in a Lava Tube

Living on Mars in a lava tube?
What fun, my dears, what fun!
We’ll surf on the flows, and then maybe – who knows –
we will gather when day is done
to remember the sea and the sun.

Living on Mars in a lava tube –
no actual lava, you say?
Just vacuum and dust in the cold of the crust
and the dark? Still, a great place to stay
as we cower from cancer all day.

Living on Mars in a lava tube –
it’s so smashing to know that we could!
If we poison our sky—never mind! We’ll just fly
to this welcoming new neighbourhood.
Hooray! It’s a plan then. Sounds good.

First published by Light Magazine in its Poems of the Week feature. www.lightpoetrymagazine.com

 

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Hey, Singularity!

In between washing socks and being five minutes late for everything, I like to spend a little time contemplating the mysteries of the universe. That’s why my ideal dinner guest would be the theoretical infinitely dense singularity containing all space and time, which possibly existed before the Big Bang. Or possibly didn’t.

The conversation, I imagine, would go something like this;

Hey, Singularity

Hey, singularity,
Endlessly dense,
Impossibly small,
Completely immense,

There’s one or two questions,
I’ve got in my head,
So if you don’t mind…
Ok, go ahead.

So just how hot are you?
Oh nothing’s more hot,
But there IS nothing else,
So that won’t mean a lot.

And what came before you?
There is no before.
All time is inside me,
No less and no more.

But what is beside you?
There IS no beside.
All space is inside me –
Beside is inside.

So everything’s in you?
We’ll sort of. I’m bluffing,
I DO contain everything –
But, also, nothing.

You’re killing me now.
Hey that’s no big deal –
I can’t really kill you,
You’re not even real.

And neither am I,
Well probably not,
The truth might be weirder.
What else have you got?

No more! Head’s exploding!
Ooh THAT’s a good plan,
I might try that too.
Ok… here we go… BANG!

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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