Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Olive Senior

moon

moon

moon

I’m walking on this dark path overhung with hibiscus,
bougainvillea, when suddenly, an opening to the sky,
and in my face, this great, big, overpowering moon, in
silver. Thank you, Moon, for showing your most dazzling
self tonight, dimming the stars, seducing me from gloomy
thoughts, from citylight. I know it’s your best face because
each month I watch you grow fat, then waste away on
some celestial diet before you disappear. No mystery there.
I know your ways. Soon a new you so svelte and
trim will start coming round again – until you lose control
and gorge to almost bursting. I can tell by your patina
on what you are feasting. This month it’s the metallic you,
with hint of quicksilver, pewter, antimony. At other times,
there’s the warmth of liquid amber, of honey. Though you
have never failed us yet, you tantalize with the uncertainty
of never knowing how big you’ll get. That makes you
almost human. Not like that Sun who acts as if he’s so divine.
I know comparisons are odious, dear Moon,
but such self-discipline is hard to stomach. He comes
showing the same predictable face day after day: no fat,
no shrinkage, no blemish. He does get a bit red and
wobbly some afternoons (bad-minded people say, from
drink!). I’d like to think it’s just that sometimes the old
fuddy-duddy can’t wait till he’s out of sight to change into
his old red flannel shirt and relax. By doing a two-step.
Close

moon

I’m walking on this dark path overhung with hibiscus,
bougainvillea, when suddenly, an opening to the sky,
and in my face, this great, big, overpowering moon, in
silver. Thank you, Moon, for showing your most dazzling
self tonight, dimming the stars, seducing me from gloomy
thoughts, from citylight. I know it’s your best face because
each month I watch you grow fat, then waste away on
some celestial diet before you disappear. No mystery there.
I know your ways. Soon a new you so svelte and
trim will start coming round again – until you lose control
and gorge to almost bursting. I can tell by your patina
on what you are feasting. This month it’s the metallic you,
with hint of quicksilver, pewter, antimony. At other times,
there’s the warmth of liquid amber, of honey. Though you
have never failed us yet, you tantalize with the uncertainty
of never knowing how big you’ll get. That makes you
almost human. Not like that Sun who acts as if he’s so divine.
I know comparisons are odious, dear Moon,
but such self-discipline is hard to stomach. He comes
showing the same predictable face day after day: no fat,
no shrinkage, no blemish. He does get a bit red and
wobbly some afternoons (bad-minded people say, from
drink!). I’d like to think it’s just that sometimes the old
fuddy-duddy can’t wait till he’s out of sight to change into
his old red flannel shirt and relax. By doing a two-step.

moon

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère