Hymn to the Moon

This poem submitted in response to this week’s Stellar and Lunar challenge https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/4582321/898579511 forms a companion piece to the one I published yesterday in response to this week’s Poetry Rehab prompt. It is another short section from the free ‘translation’ of Catullus Poem 64 that I have been working on for over twenty years now, written in the voice of the same modernized mythological character.

 

Ariadne’s Hymn to the Moon

No rockets had yet touched you, Moon,

as feet formed in mother’s womb,

on bonfire night, and delivered their first kick,

as they watched

the JFK assassination unravel on TV.

 

There are no mermaids in space;

no seas on the moon;

no-one to sing, listen or see;

no sounds carried by winds; or tides

to bring driftwood and debris up the beach

and wash it back away to sea.

 

The dust kicked up by astronauts’ boots

was the first action the old girl has seen in a long time.

She has grown pock-marked with age,

and never sees the rocks that batter her

coming over time.

 

There is no welcome-home party…

No candles blown out on a cake,

no happy returns. She

has circled barrenly around us

for so long, stirring life.

 

No thanks can repay

the hits she has taken for us,

or the stolid fact of her always being there,

edging, egging us towards life

with her skull in the sky…

 

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