Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
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In a Blue Moon

by Simon MacCulloch

Inspired by Tim White's book cover painting for The Krugg Syndrome (Grafton Books, 1987)

Blue moons loom as an unseen sun (does it rise or sink?)
Picks out the peaks of a crowding range in a dim warm pink.
Here, where I crouch on the closest crag to absorb the scene
Weird corded plants wave their riddled frills round their twisted green
Catch what they can of the solid glow from the cloud-free sky
Small shiny fruit strewn like peas on the rocks where their smooth roots lie.

Tentacled roots - does this strange vegetation move, feel, think?
Does it object to me sharing its perch on the sheer cliff's brink?
Maybe it's sifting my mind through the sieve of each skirt-like screen
Spreading my thoughts on its leaves like the text of a magazine.
Hostile or friendly? Invader or innocent passer-by?
Enfolded in light, I am caught in the lens of an alien eye.

The moons are huge pupils, the sky is an iris as blue as ink
The gaze of the cosmos has fastened on me and it does not blink.
I came to observe, though I knew that observing was bound to mean
Both subject and object could never remain as they once had been.
It's mutual transcendence: I yield up my viewpoint, and in reply
They spread out their membranous wings, which are mine, and away we fly.

© 2022 Simon MacCulloch image © Tim White 1987

Simon MacCulloch lives in London and is a regular contributor to Reach Poetry, The Dawntreader and Sarasvati.

Find more by Simon MacCulloch in the Author Index.