Issue > Poetry
G. S. Crown

G. S. Crown

G. S. Crown was born in New York City. He has published four full-length books of poetry and over 200 poems have been published in journals, such as Assaracus, 14 by 14, Michigan Quarterly Review and CrossCurrents. His poems have won awards in international poetry competitions.

Introduction To Mars

When you were still a boy, you didn't know
too much about the planet Mars—a dead,
abandoned world without a sea; instead
of fertile Earth, you'd find a wasteland, so
you thought.  Its rusty deserts couldn't grow
a single plant, just like its moons of Dread
and Fear; according to the books you read,
all signs of life had vanished long ago.

But now you know this isn't true.  You're not
a little boy, you've learned there's oxygen
on Mars to fill your lungs, and rain, and dew.
You've learned that Mars has jungles, humid, hot
and green.  That Mars has blue lagoons.  That men
can live on Mars.  That you're a Martian, too.


you're not allowed to touch the lock          you're not
allowed to hope you're strong enough to break
the cage               you're not allowed to even shake
its bars          you're not allowed to wonder what
it's like to cruise aboard a yawl          a yacht     
a skiff          you're not allowed to stay awake
all night imagining brave sailors take
you to an island tropical and hot

you're not allowed to burn when standing near
another man who burns          you're not allowed
to sparkle in the dark          or glow          or gleam
you're not allowed to breathe the atmosphere
of Mars or fantasize a Martian cloud
embraces you          you're not allowed to dream


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