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

bruised light

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.