The Moon

by C. John Holcombe

Certainly, because we have unloaded there
our astronauts and motorized sampling gear,
and found life missing, completely, not a trace
of microbes or algae or of things like us,

we must imagine and steep in that endless rock
our mindsets of seeing, in the pouring to lava
in long, long floods that through the drop on drop
of meteorites impacting turn glistening dust.

So what, at this distance, does it mean to stare
at this emptied reflection of one glass eye—
greedily vacuous, moreover, without the haze
even that lovers in their midnight excursions

will want to be present? A nothing, a vast film set
littered with has-beens, a blistered front
that hangs on the air listless, is not boarded up
because of no substance, just the frame instead?

I do not have answers, but the sumptuous sheen
of moonlight on darkness seems to hang between
us as we are and a world once becoming,
but which stopped, and turned other, and stayed as rock.

Copyright © 2004, C. John Holcombe

Moon over the Earth, recorded on the final mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia

C. John Holcombe worked as an exploration geologist in the wilder parts of the world, and then moved into mining research, finance, numismatics, web programming, etc. He was Chairman for many years of one of the UK's oldest writing groups, and is currently Editor of, a guide to poetry on the Internet. His poems have appeared in numerous small presses in the UK and USA.

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