Friday 27 July 2012


Yesterday I attended a creative writing day ran by a local poet, Elizabeth Rapp, at Dillington House ( ). It was a very enjoyable day, the weather was beautiful, the location was stunning, an old country house that had been sumptuously renovated and the company was excellent. What more could you want?
I especially enjoyed the challenge of being faced with a blank sheet of paper and the task of writing about the moon. Sitting here now I am reminded of the Paul Simon song (here’s a link to you tube-but it states that the song is by Simon & Garfunkel but it isn’t-it’s all Paul Simon Yesterday my mind was blank but I came up with this.


Big, blood moon,
A scouring tidal surge that pulls muscles,
And sets the shark to follow
The lodestone in its head.
Before this, in the swirling surf,
We hesitate, reluctant to leave the water.
The moon is higher now,
We gulp air, claim the beach, the land,
Build ziggurats and zeppelins,
Shout at the stars,
Think this will last forever,
The sunrises on our wreckage.
The poem came out of our initial discussion on the images that the word moonconjured up for us. This second poem was difficult, in that I sat there for about five minutes unable to think of anything, then the idea I had just would not work. Out of the blue came this:
It helps to be behind at the start,
As everyone loves the underdog,
And it’s a simple narrative arc to follow.
An assassinated President’s promise
Will keep the pressure on.
Add a mad Nazi with an eye for the main chance,
Lubricate it with enough money
And resources to keep the war cold.
At this point wring your hands, smile and say
It’s a peaceful use for all of that ICBM technology.
Be careful to choose the right guy, not Buzz,
Too much of a wild card, that one.
Have no plan beyond getting them there
(And back).
Waste your one shot at the stars.

Korolev did not agree-wanted a safer technology.

And Yuri?
Yuri howled at the moon,
Wanted to go back into space,
Or at least to be able to fly again.
Like the rest of us,
He would crash and burn.

I would like to be able to say that there was a hat trick on my part and that I was able to write a third poem that was ready to post-but I’m still working on that one-perhaps next time.
Have a good week.


  1. Those are interesting poems about the moon--especially the second one.

    1. Thanks. I am not sure the second is about the moon, I think it's about how I see the world. I feel cheated that the space race did not lead to more exploration, I wonder how the world would have been had Korolev survived the operation, if Yuri had been allowed to return to space, if Buzz had been taken more seriously. I suppose I want to live in some 1960's future.

  2. I did not know what a ziggurat is. I do now. I love the first poem with its idea of the lodestone in the shark's head. (Any chance of it for "Freezing The Frame?"). The second poem seemed more political - a kind of planet suite and sour. How all that Sputnik stuff expanded our vision.

  3. These are wonderful, combining some of my favorite things -- ziggurats and moons. Loved the title: Ingredients for a Moon Landing.

  4. awesome verbal imagery in your moon poems! i dig 'em!