deija thoris

the embarrassed planet

The Martian Princess of Glass visits Wollongong, her hometown.

The fans that line the streets wave mirrors and Windex™,
she smiles all blue and chromed,
removes reflective lenses
with flashes sunborne from reflective eyes.

I remember when she was just the Martian
down the street.
How I planned to meet her,
how every day I practiced her name—
Deija, ¤≈ℑξ ϖ¿ in Martian, hard to pronounce.

It’s midseason summer, mercury is seeping
from thermometers and I’m sweating in the crowd.
Fainters are given coffee, iced, and the sky
is glaring steel, forty five degrees if it’s a day.

The past has points of no return,
the others all beyond the vanishment and gone,
not called back in fantasy or memory,
victims of reality, they’ve found a sharper focus for their lives.

But not you, ever Deija,
my weakness is to live in times gone by,
in dreams of Martian meadows beneath the geodesic domes
with you.

The city council, the families and the hangers-on
are waiting on the podium
where the florists’ efforts wilt and fade.

In the sky, hot air mirages, spinning bivalves
are descending
to target us with heat rays from the fifties.

They’ve come from Mars—
an inconvenient invasion
from the embarrassed planet.

The welcoming committee smolders and burns,
fiery hairdos and flaming
synthetic business suits.
Some are stripping off informally
to undergarments.

Deija is serenely heat resistant, her
ceremonial platform drifts on tiny fusion jets
above the chaos to the mayor.
He removes a human mask,
reveals reflective blue beneath,
and clambers up to ride beside her.

On the streets, confusion flees in all directions
with energy beams in warm pursuit,
and one last question troubles me:

How could you, ever Deija? How could
you choose the mayor over me?


background
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Dejah Thoris is the Red Martian Princess of Helium; generally, the golden age of sci fi; 45ºC=113ºF.

artwork
Mars—the embarrassed planet

9 thoughts on “deija thoris

    • Thanks BG, I appreciate your comment because I was particularly pleased with that section–what & who we remember, and how the past creates us. The idea came from Deija, thinking of déjà as in déjà vu, so ‘ever Deija’ is ‘always before’, or ‘always the past.’

      Okay, now I regret explaining my thinking. Obviously it isn’t particularly rational. Not doing that again :).

      Liked by 1 person

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