CALLING DOWN THE MOON



All night it’s been barrelling down, the rain
turning the lawn to a consommé of the Somme.
The rain is hammering nails into the roof
doing its little Shirley Temple number
on the corrugated iron to a tune by Arnold Schoenberg.

It’s raining pianos and golf clubs
and if you went outside and opened your mouth
you’d drown, because the whole soggy black sponge
of the sky has turned into a clepsydra
that’s just struck the once in a century.

Anyway, I’m groping for the light switch in need of
a small hours piss,
(yeah, I know, Larkin – it’s a coincidence)
muttering against the rain
and suddenly there’s the full bloody moon
glaring at me over the fence like a
disapproving neighbour in the silvery halo
of a window clearing, a bit battered and dented
but metal clean, and hard and sharp like a razorblade.

gaunt moon
milk and alabaster saucer moon
chalky Cistercian moon
onion pearl moon
clove of garlic moon
egg of some giant space monster moon
charnel gorgon moon
sterile sexless barren stone moon


Obviously the breathless rain had paused by this time

Everything is silent.
Everything is either smoke, dark blood or trembling argent

but what am I supposed to do with this unwanted
intruder, pale from judging me so hard
glaring from cushions the colour of blue roan cattle

chilly and aloof and cosmic.
                             Fuck off full Perrott Perilune
Oberon’s horn, Astarte, Diana Artemis, Khonsu
Hecate, Igaluk, Selene, Ataegina,
                              
Máni' and friggity Jarilo,
                                                 Alglibol,
                 unpronounceable Tecciztecatl
Bendis, Sinhivala,
         sayonara Tsukuyomi, and Arianrhod
                                   Cerridwen and Rhiannon,
                                              Morgana le Fay.
Go away Libulan, Yemaya, Bahloo, Avatea.
Not tonight Hina-i-te-pō
                         of the land my dead are buried in.
No thank you ancestral Madb
                         scented with peat and water-mint.
Not interested familial Callieach
                with a sprig of heather behind your ear.
Adieu pleine lune and your Dames Blanches
                                  of fair, sweaty Norman forbears.
Not tonight.
Down with this sort of thing.

Bald and wild and bruised…
Moon. Spoon. June. Croon. Soon…

                     No,
         I much prefer that sinful, in-between nail paring,
that sliver, battening on diamonds and jasmine flowers
                                                           to fatten up

jogging round the sky, puking rococo silver to slim down,
                                      inconstant and fickle as we are,

a taught bow of fine-fibred, white, young wood
though I can’t bend and flex as supplely as that
these days,

                      the spoons wax and wane despite my
hiding it and there’s nothing warm or consoling
in moonlight, so what should I do with you moon?

Should I wash in moonlight with my mother’s soap
                                                          like in the story?
Should I hail you as an old friend and rub you
                                                          into my skin
like coconut-scented night cream, cold and lux?
                                           I don’t like the thought
of you penetrating my ivory into my bone marrow,
                                                                       I fear
you’d foment unwholesome rebellion among
                                      my saintly white corpuscles.
So I’ll take my piss
and maybe present you my western façade
                                               a moon for the moon
and then I’ll see what happens when I address you
directly, pointing up at you and shouting “Moon!”
like a lunatic, barely articulate, “Moon!”
Will you          “Moon!”          reel back      “Moon!”
in          “Moon!”          startled amazement, moon,

“Moon!”          even as I am amazed at you, moon,
will you stare in surprise
                          all one tarnished ghost eye, moon?
Will you blink with the whole of your creamy body
                                                       inscrutable moon?


You bloody big bobbing white morning glory,
would you be shocked
like a watchmaker the smallest fidget wheel
has started talking back to
moon?

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