Canyon Color


In Lazuli Canyon, boating.
Sheet ice over shadowed stream
Crackling under our bow.
Stream grows wide, curves into sunlight:
A deep bend in the ancient channel.
Plumes of frost at every breath.
Endless rise of the red canyon,
Canyon in canyons, no end to them.
Black lines web rust sandstone:
Wind-carved boulder over us.
There, on a wet red beach—
Green moss, green sedge. Green.
Not nature, not culture: just Mars.
Western sky deep violet,
Two evening stars, one white one blue:
Venus, and the Earth.

— Kim Stanley Robinson, The Martians (Bantam Books, 1999)

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