Tag Archives: the Moon

Pocket money, December 1972

Tom stands on tiptoe

his forearms resting on the counter.

He slides one sweaty palm aside to reveal

the full moon of a ten pence piece

against a black Formica sky.

On the shelves in front of him

constellations of sweets twinkle invitingly:

gobstoppers as big as Jupiter,

liquorice Catherine wheels that suck in light like a black hole,

sherbet fountains shaped like rockets,

a swarm of asteroids masquerading as chocolate raisins,

and coconut mushrooms, modelled on life forms

that float in the syrupy seas of planet Zyx.

‘The usual?’ asks Mr. Bradshaw

pushing his Joe 90 glasses up his nose.

Tom nods.

With a magician’s flourish Mr. Bradshaw produces a bulging paper bag

twirled over at the corners

and palms the coin.

Tom mumbles his thanks and scuffs out,

the door shutting with a clunk

and a clang of the bell.

Outside Tom opens the bag and peeps inside:

a packet of space dust

and two dozen flying saucers.

Tom pops a pink flying saucer in his mouth

and lets it dissolve on his tongue.

A quarter of a million miles above his head

two men get ready to leave the Moon.


© Helen Lewis 2011

In the shadows


Beside a tranquil sea where nothing lives

And craters cast their shadows on the dust

A Stay Puft boot print is a sculptor’s mould

That’s waiting for the alloy to be poured.


A woman sits beneath a banyan tree

Her features dappled by the shade it gives

Her palms are open, waiting to receive

The jewel of clarity, however flawed.


Below a rack of handforks, trugs and sieves

Enveloped in the cedar-scented gloom

A box of rockets, Catherine wheels and squibs

Is waiting for the weather to turn cold.


Inside the lightless cavern of these ribs

A lotus bud is waiting to unfold.


(C) Helen Lewis 2012

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