Alien World

An atmosphere sapphire blue
heavy and opaque.
Terrain irregular
cliffs, canyons, deserts
rocky outcrops
vegetated fields.
Some of the stones
grow and live and eat
but oh!
Those alien creatures!
Small, delicate wings in many sets
propel them easily
through dense skies,
drifting and darting
in massive clouds.
Other tread the shifting ground
crawling on many legs
climbing and leaping
morphing chameleon textures.
and the colors!
Neon pinks, oranges, blues, yellows
mixed stripes and spots
some entirely transparent
other glow with technicolor life
illuminating the darkest caves.
They are spectacularly varied
fringes and spines,
armor and tendrils,
solid and immobile,
floating away like feather-light balloons
the size of buildings
or barely a few cells
no two precisely alike.
It is a cruel world
with as much death as there is life
full of poison and tearing jaws
rending flesh and organ and bone.
The creatures hunt
pursue, ambush, and flee.
But it can also be kind
animals dwelling symbiotically
so many forms and shades and scales
all intertwined.
Such a beautiful world
humanity has only reached the surface
of our own alien oceans.

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