An Arulian Sample

I’m studying crystals,
on a day so cold,
the earth around me cracks,
glittering gems burst through.

In winter, the lattice glows blue,
gleaming through its smaller brethren snowflakes
until the landscape looks like
a dead giant’s cheeks.

In spring, flat faces
beam turquoise,
then summer burns red,
mirrors the Arulian sun and moon,

while Fall pales
into a weathered orange,
gives the appearance
of a coffee stain on a tablecloth.

On Arulia, the planet at my feet
absorbs its surrounds,
pays them back in various hues.
I chip off a little

take it back to the ship
for further tests.
But my sample’s plain and colorless
out of its environment.

On a far-flung planet,
I’ve never witness the like of this.
Yet, in a sanitized lab,
I see it all the time.


John Grey
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review, Thin Air and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.