The moon rose like it had been hit,
as if it had staggered back
from the ropes for another try.
It was one thing to hold
to pummelled night skies
where all bets were off.
Punters knew the sun
would soon take the guy
down to daylight’s ropes –
the quiet field, the sleeping mall
strip-searched by dawn cries.
We hadn’t bargained
on the glass-chinned curiosity of the dead;
how day, never an outright victory,
could be undercut at 6am
by a cratered, toothless smile, hanging
low over the all-night supply.
Thus, jumping cows, astrolabes
and madness re-waxed
to the magnetic chant of king tides.
The sun, though, had taken down
more moons in its time
than it cared to count flares or ides.
It always came up fighting,
the same white-eyed bully,
the muscular surmise.
Nose low, out of joint,
it made short shrift of rematch
in silk-blue skies;
then, incredulous, saw us stake
our corner. The moon, out
for the count, wisely retired.
But we took it up to the sun,
in fightclubs of thin atmosphere;
in foolish suits of earth we flew
into its roped surprise.
Poem by Amanda Johnson read by Cassandra Atherton.