After the event last night I got talking to Rick Stroud on more moon-related matters. We were joined by a chap who re-enacts the moon landings using only his incredibly expressive hands, shadow-puppet style! He’s even performed for astronauts. Anyway, during the conversation I made the observation to Rick that when people with normal colour vision see a pumpkin moon, someone with colourblindness sees it as bright green. And I remembered that quite a long time ago I’d written a poem on the topic. It seemed appropriate for such a moon-themed festival. The river in the poem is the Thames, though it’s not named.
You on the north bank, I on the south
We will hold hands and kiss across the river.
The moon slings coppers in every puddle
And tugs like a tethered zeppelin
The witch-hats of roofs
While aerials bow and bristle up their batons.
I can see it
Rolling up the hill of the night -
A whole round golden cheese
Grated curls fall twisting in the ripples.
And it’s green, you sigh, bright green –
Lime light, old velvet
Emeralds fall slanting into the water.
It shudders, rises, hardens into an aspirin
Raw chalk, a skull in a tree
And diminished. We can agree on that.
Filed under: London Literature Festival 2009