"First Dawn" by Jason Maxwell

Space Artsyfact, by Romeo Esparrago
Illustration: “Space Artsyfact” © 2005 by Romeo Esparrago

I clunked down steps in an eerie alien-twilight world.
Deadly mist licked tenuously at my suit,

Long fingers, searching fingers,
An old world beckons. I stepped down into its arms.

Dust rose from First Hesitant Contact with the damned place.
But the world timidly opened its eyes

The mountains loomed – desperately baring the binary suns’ rays –
Tentatively the light trickled. And I saw them all.

Monoliths in the half-light – silent sentinels –
Watching time. Their monstrous presence, shaping all shadows,

Tall, polished faces with pyramid crescent-crowns,
Under a dark shroud.

I thought: All this on a stagnant world long dead.
Ghostly silhouette forms

In a ghostly silhouette world.

An immense vision from the valley floor.
The breeze told tales of the end of the night’s shroud.

Reformed dimensions lazily received the light. Then the suns,
White, blue, burst.

Serious, and spiteful they clashed, crashed, and smote the last of night,
Savaged the rift wide, a welcomed glow.

Then, the solar brothers ruling –
I breathed

Gasping in the awe of the vision, deafly turning
Through deep shadows, thrown off craggy peaks,

Then to the monoliths.
There, sacred as science,
I was the traveller and pilgrim over the years of light,

To these stoic masses, where knowledge of all things
Stirred within a frost that pleaded at my feet.

It gauged my laboured approach. My suit vented waste gas.
I was ready to receive.

The naked knowledge of this patient place
Waited for me, in the great monoliths’ gaze –

In awe of the exiled species, which eons now has gone, to life,
May I still feel their soul as mine in so lonely a place

Within the seams of the burnt rock, knowing truth,
Knowing their knowledge endured,
I am the pilgrim here. *

About the Author: Jason Maxwell is a keen short SF writer, trying to compile enough work to warrant a collection. He has just finished a creative writing degree and is now in the real world, with real writers, and feeling very small in the face of publication. Jason is writing an SF novel and keeping himself sane in between by working on short stories and poems.
(c) 2005 Jason Maxwell rachael@max07.fsnet.co.uk

About the Artist: Romeo Esparrago shall be un-Google-able… someday.
(c) 2005 Romeo Esparrago Planet Magazine

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