the sky at night

you look at the moon in the knowledge

that all those you love live under her

flimsy like a rainbow. just a change

of direction, or the weather, and they’re gone.

manifold pigments shot into space.


in this neck of the woods

at this time of night

bleeding red plonk and pharmaceuticals

my little white star misses me

elle me manque; my stella.

and there’s a hole inside

this whole wise witch

who casts not spells but curses.

i’m lost without you, stellar angel.

wailing into the moonlit sky

my husband has gone missing again

perhaps taken this time by an opportunist sniper

and the children don’t come home

though i keep calling

into the darkness; hello little bear,

ursula, my second daughter.

hello half cut moon lying

on your side rocking as a boat without anchor

with no sight of shore.

someone tied me to the mast

resolute figurehead

so that I could paint that same storm

over and over as if I hadn’t seen it

a thousand times.


and what it comes down to is this:

that no number of clumsy lines of verse

or clumsy lines drawn near dawn

or how much paint daubed in passion, or anger,

all this counts less than a little piece of crap

when my husband has gone awol

and my babies never come home.

and all the love in this feeble heart

beats without time

when there is no table to lay for supper.


if you came this way under cover

cloaked in darkness, lady of the night

who would you meet down this dark alley

lined with raw eggs and used prophylactics?

only me, mae west with a pistol

pleased to see you

pistil and stamen minus fertilisation.


such a pretty open flower

with all her life ahead

my children beckoning, smiling

from the untaken snapshots.

what a piece of work is man

so noble, so brave with weapon drawn

take forty paces, turn, misfire

shots falling on empty ears.

i never thought it would come to this

in the half light half life

staring down the barrel of a half drunk bottle

being half bleeding clever

keeping mum.

One thought on “the sky at night

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