Red Like Mars

Brick buildings,
red like Mars on the horizon,
are veiled in tatters of grey haze.
Our civilisation planted
on another planet is a seed
that sprouted in healthier days.
Will it grow and bloom
or be reduced to sizzling weeds of doom?
Meanwhile, back on the home planet,
the microscopic water bear.
also known as tardigrade,
emerges from Armageddon,
smiling smugly at Earth’s destruction
and at human limitation.

Kim M. Russell, 2017


Image of a tardigrade found on

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Challenge: Imagining a Changing Earth

This weekend Brendan tells us about a disturbing essay on the harsher threats and looming realities of climate change, which he read in the June 9, 2017 issue of New York magazine: “When Will The Planet Be Too Hot For Humans? Much, Much Sooner Than You Imagine,” by David Wallace-Wells.

Brendan would like us, in a poem of any length or style, imagine the plight of this world and our places in it—as citizens, siblings, primates, victims, survivors and singers. What do we love, what would we not lose, and where can we take our readers which shows us how that place will continue?

15 thoughts on “Red Like Mars

  1. This takes into the realm of high likelihood — an extension of the dire curve proposed by Wallace-Wells — where humans have gone on to colonize (and perhaps poison as well) the Red Planet, and the meek water bear wakes and swims on. Smiling at our “human limitation.” I wonder if we were blinded by the light of our inventions — the desire to eat of the tree of knowledge which got us thrown out of Paradise and has kept us manufacturing ever more sterile rooms of undeath. Fools … let the proud walk Mars. Thanks so for joining in …


  2. I read a recent article about the tardigrade – not sure I’m too impressed that it’s our only hope for long term life on Earth. Very sobering facts. Also, none too charmed with the idea of humanity spreading its menace to other planets. We had everything we needed here but it was not enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I console myself with the fact that the future of the Earth is in the hands( feet?), seemingly, of a character from a Star Wars movie. Step forward the Tardigrade. ( He almost made it into my poem too )

    Liked by 1 person

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