Bad Moon by Claire Askew

The moon must be sick of being in poems –
always gripped by fingers of late honeysuckle,
always filtered in the lake through the jetty’s slats,
always silvering the flicked tails of the koi.
Always a dinner plate or mirror,
always a fingernail clipping, a grin.

The moon must be sick of being in poems.
Always the bright pin in the picture’s corner,
always looking in at the windows of middle class homes.
Always shoved above a bridge in Paris or Venice,
always an eyeball or symbol,
always a radiant woman, a bowl.

It’s also in the splintered windscreen of the crime scene
with its blots of blood. It’s hung over the pig farm,
streaking white across the silo’s cheek
and slanting through the lorry walls in blades.
It’s in every dented can at the landfill pit,
turning the tip to a shoal of dirty fish.

Never the buried skull,
never the gummed plug in the junkie’s sink.
Never the white cat under the truck’s wheel,
never the beached and stinking jellyfish.
Never the gallstone or the pulled tooth, of course.
Nobody wants to read poems about this.

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The man in the Moon by James Whitcomb Riley

Said the Raggedy Man on a hot afternoon,
“My!
Sakes!
What a lot o’ mistakes
Some little folks makes on the Man in the Moon!
But people that’s been up to see him like Me,
And calls on him frequent and intimutly,
Might drop a few hints that would interest you
Clean!
Through!
If you wanted ’em to—
Some actual facts that might interest you!
“O the Man in the Moon has a crick in his back;
Whee!
Whimm!
Ain’t you sorry for him?
And a mole on his nose that is purple and black;
And his eyes are so weak that they water and run
If he dares to dream even he looks at the sun,—
So he jes’ dreams of stars, as the doctors advise—
My!
Eyes!
But isn’t he wise—
To jes’ dream of stars, as the doctors advise?
“And the Man in the Moon has a boil on his ear—
Whee!
Whing!
What a singular thing!
I know! but these facts are authentic, my dear,—
There’s a boil on his ear; and a corn on his chin,—
He calls it a dimple—but dimples stick in—
Yet it might be a dimple turned over, you know!
Whang!
Ho!
Why certainly so!—
It might be a dimple turned over, you know:
“And the Man in the Moon has a rheumatic knee,
Gee!
Whizz!
What a pity that is!
And his toes have worked round where his heels ought to be.
So whenever he wants to go North he goes South,
And comes back with the porridge crumbs all round his mouth,
And he brushes them off with a Japanese fan,
Whing!
Whann!
What a marvelous man!
What a very remarkably marvelous man!
“And the Man in the Moon,” sighed the Raggedy Man,
“Gits!
So!
Sullonesome, you know!
Up there by himself since creation began!—
That when I call on him and then come away,
He grabs me and holds me and begs me to stay,—
Till—well, if it wasn’t for Jimmy-cum-Jim,
Dadd!
Limb!
I’d go pardners with him!
Jes’ jump my bob here and be pardners with him!”

Liberty by Edward Thomas

The last light has gone out of the world, except
This moonlight lying on the grass like frost
Beyond the brink of the tall elm’s shadow.
It is as if everything else had slept
Many an age, unforgotten and lost —
The men that were, the things done, long ago,
All I have thought; and but the moon and I
Live yet and here stand idle over a grave
Where all is buried. Both have liberty
To dream what we could do if we were free
To do some thing we had desired long,
The moon and I. There’s none less free than who
Does nothing and has nothing else to do,
Being free only for what is not to his mind,
And nothing is to his mind. If every hour
Like this one passing that I have spent among
The wiser others when I have forgot
To wonder whether I was free or not,
Were piled before me, and not lost behind,
And I could take and carry them away
I should be rich; or if I had the power
To wipe out every one and not again
Regret, I should be rich to be so poor.
And yet I still am half in love with pain,
With what is imperfect, with both tears and mirth,
With things that have an end, with life and earth,
And this moon that leaves me dark within the door.

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

II
Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
III
‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

 

II
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.