the moon on her setting arc

as I go past the half-built homes
back to my kitchen
at the end of my day
the moon’s on her setting arc
finding a path down the sky

her face is jaundiced
by smog and the dust
of all these construction sites
building and building trying
to stave off some dragon
or other
some tide of people or water
they’re generating
so much that my nose blocks trying
to keep it out and my eyes flood trying
to wash it away and when I look at the moon

she’s only halfway down
her setting arc but already
she’s orange and dull

for a moment I think
her face is a lovely
fireside colour
but then I remember

she’s the moon!
the silvery moon!
the pale goddess moon!

and right now
she’s not
a goddess

she’s a woman

looking down at her feet
as she goes out of sight
at the end of her day

her face all oranged
with the dust of men

Winner of the 2014 Ethel Webb Bundell Literary Awards presented by the Society of Women Writers WA

Related poem way more special

quite a thing

To stay warm, I burn
living and fossil wood,
dry leaves and sticks of dung
I smoke my lungs to black lace

For eons cool Earth
has tried to chill me out
as I sit at the firepit
in my charcoal clothes

If I asked, she’d let me
be the wheel in her water,
the panel in her sunshine,
the turbine in her wind

But a woman who doesn’t smoke
is missing something, and I
have quite a thing
for fire

(From lemon oil)

At Diamond Creek

Only this, the blue whisper of the leaves
and strips of pale bark
hanging high by the creekbed,
quiet, decorative, inconsequential, only

this, the black flower that blossoms
in the chest of a woman
until she can no longer breathe,
until her voice becomes

silently strangely sneakily
slowly this, the blue whisper of the leaves
and strips of pale bark
hanging high by the creekbed,

quiet, decorative, inconsequential,
awaiting the next storm of flames.

(From lemon oil)

spacesuit

The moon is a piece of rock in the sky.

One watches through the locked glass,
not waving,
as the other gets into a car and drives,
not tooting,
under the black sky,
under the moon that is blanked out by clouds,
that is a piece of rock in the sky,
that didn’t feel Armstrong and the other test pilots
brushing its surface,
taking some samples,
then leaving,
maybe forever.

The moon is not a place to stay:
it’s a place to visit,
and you’d better have your spacesuit on
or the lack of pressure and air
will kill you.

But go.
I recommend it.

It’s breathtaking there
under the black sky
on the untrodden moon.