Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Cool Moon

This is the last poem I plan to save from my poetry writing period of the early 1970s to 1985 or so. I started writing poetry again in January 2012 at the age of 62 - it was quite a struggle! - so, since a suitable time has passed to allow for second thoughts, I intend to begin posting these new works as and when the motivation takes me. As ever, I make no claims for their value; they are simply an old man's fascinated wrestling with words.

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Cool moon when I was young you sailed
Like a speck of magic through the skies:
The first light of your rising paled
I’d hurry hunched against surprise
Across a lawn – Holmes was out to see
His suspect at the ballroom dance.
Or when my small boat leapt the sea
You laughed and flung a liquid lance
Which threaded the crests; the waves, piled
By wind, played with the golden vein.
I knew you then, a grinning child,
Your face smudged with a boyish stain.

Later you went to the attic,
Banished by the brash scuttle for
Love and a job, a chance to pick
At life – Romance must beg at the door.
But leases and relationships
Can sour, and then your acned face
Taught me that the cup at the lips
Is jagged in the manifold race.
Problems would settle, and the old
Certainties would flicker wanly,
Soothing the wound beneath a cold
Light like a psalm which bathed on me.

The fiction cannot last; the point
Of reference has become a chill
Accuser, and a creaking joint
In culture has ruptured: the thrill
Of the heavens now drips night-mould,
A blue and icy light from the high
Sky, where a footprint’s push has rolled
The tomb’s lid leaving us to die.
The thing of book and film has become
A spot of knowledge, a sad rune:
Imagination can’t go home
Again; cool moon, cold moon, dead moon.

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© circa 1973-76

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