The Moon

(Museum of the Moon, Lincoln Cathedral, February 2022)

When I feel like this, I often dream of the moon 

Like a ball of clay – cold touch, light hugging dark

The moon said it was never lonely

But I thought all that darkness must be terrifying and cold 

Like a ball of clay – cold touch, light hugging dark  

The voice was like an echo 

But I thought all that darkness must be terrifying and cold

I can’t even be sure I heard it speak audibly

The voice was like an echo 

I don’t feel the cold here, the moon added

I can’t even be sure I heard it speak audibly

So I let the moon shine on, in all its contentedness 

I don’t feel the cold here the moon added

The moon said it was never lonely

So I let the moon shine on, in all its contentedness

When I feel like this, I often dream of the moon.

*This is a pantoum poem inspired by a Poetry workshop by Thom Seddon back in Summer 2020. I chose to publish it after being reminded of it when I visited the Museum of the Moon installation at Lincoln cathedral.


When All is Uncertain

When all is uncertain,

I count the things of which,

I can be sure of.

Things I can count.

Things I can know.

Things I can see or touch.

Control is an illusion,

But today, this helps.


Breath is in my body.


I will walk the dog.


We will see falling leaves.


I will touch a conker.

I love the feel of a conker.


As it turns out.

Today, I only needed to count to four.

To be sure, to be certain.

When all is uncertain,

I count the things of which

I can be sure of.

Beneath the concrete lies

Beneath the concrete lies,

the city’s deepest dreams,

yours and mine, each


Cold, rain dances on the

cold tarmac,


contents, car parks

Cash ‘n’ carry,

Do you take contactless?

clubs and pubs

puddles, floods, curbs drown.

Closing Down Sale,

Everything must go!

Go, red lights glow –

car break lights, traffic,

thick brick walls


Architecture, not fit for

Kings and Queens of time

gone by, run and hide,

Quick, inside! Safe and sound

Shake off.

Take off, that cold anorak.

A world of mine.


cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaeliccàrn (plural cairn). Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present.

I’m walking the mountains in low cloud,

the mist descends. I can’t see beyond doubt.

All the senses that I started with,

have too long ad libbed.


I can barely see further than my next step,

finding it hard to remember,

what steps I felt before I left.

I can just make out a dark shape,

this big figure with a shadow of a cape.


It begins to emerge from the gloom,

the first thing I’ve seen,

my messenger of good news.

I get closer and closer and it rises and rises.


This stern figure, that keeps on climbing

and it’s such a relief not to be alone,

except for this big pile of stones.

Happy to have reached it.

I have reached it at last.


It is my watcher, my guardian,

custodian of unmarked paths.

When the mist rolled through,

and the snow fell my way,

it tells me I am not lost.

Nor alone.

And that many others have passed this way.


Alone in Columbia


“Keep talking to me guys,”

I say it on the radio,

as you drift away,

This is it now.


All eyes watch you make history,

and I’m sitting here inside,

sweating like a nervous bride.

Right about now.


The world will be marvelling at you,

but they do not know,

history has not yet been made,

God, it’s still playing out now.


It’s 50-50, you say,

I’m waiting here in Columbia,

waiting to hear from Eagle.

Absolutely nothing I can do now.


One day without you, hidden behind the moon,

Out of sight and out of mind, hidden by 250,000 miles,

and if you could say it you would have,

You would have said it now.


The speech is written, it’s ready to be given.

This is my secret terror,

that I’ll be alone now.

and you’ll have been lost forever.


“Fate has ordained

that the men who went to the moon 

to explore in peace 

will stay on the moon 

to rest in peace.”


Me a marked man returning home,

this is just one day to kill,

but in my head, time drags on and only fear will fill,

these moments of dread now.


Since you left me,

you have made me the single most distant,

Solo Traveller,

patiently stranded in orbit now.


I’m waiting here, alone in Columbia,

I am truly alone now.

Three days we spent gazing out,

on the earth getting smaller and smaller

Something to write home about.


But we’re still not convinced,

this dream is meant to come true.

If they fail to rise from the surface

or crash back into it?


Whatever should happen,

I am a changed man.

I know it, this is aloneness,

unknown to man before now.


No radio transmission from mission control,

the bulk of the moon has blocked them all.

While the world watches on at what you do,

You’re the only thing on my mind now.


I’m thinking of both of you

Your mothership waits behind

You can take your steps

I will watch on now.


Our giant leaps may soon demise,

the mothership’s only son,

the eagle, attempts to fly

Did apollo 11 forget me?


Did destiny only write half my story

all born in 1930,

each one of us born at the right time,

the very first lunar landing now.


And we returned home,

from way out there.

To return home with you

was the greatest of honours now.


Whether they even remember me or not,

Alone in Columbia.

Out there I’m never forgot,

And put lucky on my tombstone — we made it back.



Overt Literary References


I am alive and breathing,

You are the first, on the left-hand page.

I am living in a terrace house,

You are a shout in the ancient streets and alleyways.

I am stood at the bus stop,

You are the site where the future saint was just wounded.

I am mooching, just walking through town,

You are layers of the city’s topographical palimpsest.

I am clamped, still working it out,

You are recording, and informing on worlds events.

I am clumsy with words sometimes,

You are ironic, ambiguous and sometimes you’re heard.

I am trying to learn,

You are the overt literary references.

I am nice and friendly,

You are only a symbol of reconciliation.

I could count my friends on my fingers,

You are lingering, fuelling old fears.

I am hanging to a humble outlook,

You are patriotic, historic, above all aesthetically artistic.

I am taking each day as it comes,

You are fifty drafts long and then done.

I am one in seven billion,

You are published and indefinitely reproducible.

I may not be very interesting,

But you, you may not be real.