A celebration of the work of all writers who have attended Half Moon workshops.
A Poem by Lissy, aged 5
It is winter.
Winter is a cold place.
I have been outside
with mummy’s friends
and my friends.
The snowdrops are covered
in a frosty dew.
Two poems by Sam Hunt
Swimming deeper than
Exposing bitter mustard undertones like
cold air meeting flushed cheeks,
Coming closer still.
TRICKS OF LIGHT
Caves hide whispers of blusher
In mist across hills that could be mistaken
for a curve, mound made for teeth.
All this flesh
bites back with acid green.
If twigs bend too far;
When eyeliner curls in branches overhead,
It’s only a trick
A Poem by David Calcutt
The ground’s hard. Frost on the grass.
Both crack under my boot
Taking the track to the top
And a long ridged back of sunlit milky mist horizon
Where ghosts of hills haunt their distances
And a stilled finger’s pressed against the lips.
The bank falls away
Steep drop to shadow and dark
Tangled woodland of bared nerves –
Each nerve a sharp thorn to stab out the eyes –
The ruined cottage
Your secret den.
Trapped woman of tree
Your soul is crooked
Twisted with curse
And your own bad medicine.
Light is trying to heal you
Revive the dead children curled in your arms
Those hidden songbirds.
You root down resistant in cloven rock.
My ears search for meaningful sounds
Only the cackle of your black lightning registers
That other language, the old chant.
The crow has stolen your voice.
I can do nothing to help.
Step back. Gaze
To where the sun lifts its weight
The fields steam
Land leans to its heat.
A Poem by Andy Delmege
crosses hills and quarries
on, over the light shed,
through trees onto dale
rolling into haze.
Here, at the top of the climb
in pause of looking
that question of inward
and outward journeys
Gift of light
at darkest time of year
something glimpsed for now
beauty cold severe.
Three poems by Penny Hewlett
At one point the river goes two ways,
a moment’s indecision stirring the flow;
a girl sculls among geese who move
with their protesting two-toned voice
loud in the air. The willows are shaved
overhead, smeared with first green;
blossom scatters along the muddy path,
the white noise of the weir hides
the roadsound, the half occluded sun
drops pale warmth into the day,
and for a moment there is not one thing
I would change.
ALSO TWO CHILDREN
You laughed, as babies do, smiled,
held up your arms, cried for food,
You grew fat on milk, brown eyed
or blue, crawled, hauled upright.
You had names.
Along the church wall in stale beds:
last year’s rhodedendrons, where no
other flowers range.
In the graveyard, words inscribed
on stone slabs are masked by lichen’s
Now unremembered, surely you
are more than just a footnote
over your remains.
A grubby sign says ‘Ferry, 50p’,
beside a slipway across the river
where the path turns to the theatre,
or bears away to Holy Trinity.
There is no boat moored here;
it is a ghost, a memory, like the green
grass circle over last year’s fairy ring,
a thought of how things disappear
in our own lifetimes, how they drift
into museums, local library collections,
old folks’ unheard recollections,
gone like unwanted birthday gifts.
Maybe the chain’s still there, unmarked,
like lovers’ initials carved in bark.
A Poem by Ray
once mighty, strength it’s best virtue
supine and helpless
lying in drunken confusion
brought low by elements
genus anatidae cruise by unconcerned
another fallen leviathan
it does little harm
in its final bedclothes
mouldy duck feathers
and castaway banana skins
A Poem by Anna Maris
A PROMISE OF STOP
Willow’s a solitary goose
casting her curtains far and wide against a tide of objections not seeing the jewels in her curtained mystery
can love really lie bleeding into darkened pools and ripple tickles concentric move
without thoughts being pushed far abroad through winding streets
and far away arches
a bleeding far cry and a promise of a stop
A Poem by Saba
THE STICKING PLACE
The barbed sun shines
stars from within the clutch
of mud; I stick angels,
like time in the glue of moss,
green heavens on bark.
I come unstuck;
the rough persuasion
of waters that flow both ways.
Sun and Moon. Sun and Moon.
Maybe you’re scared of boats?
Courage! A free night,
of mooring amongst
the power of leaning
and this place of trusting;
we shall not fail.
A Poem by Peter Cox
Blue Pig Farmers.
We met in Coalbrookdale
To walk for inspiration
And off we went.
Enough to tire the youngest limbs.
And yet I made it
Though lungs and knees
And yet I made it
To compare my fatigue,
For there was some respite,
To that suffered
In those early years
For whom a rest
A Poem by Charles Worth
War Memorial, Coalbrookdale
Down the dale from the foundry
past the iron master’s house
at the corner of Paradise
stands the war memorial
recording on black iron panels
the Davies brothers and the Millwards,
both the Owens, through the roll call
to Ward, Watson, Webb, Whitehead,
Wilde, Wilkes, Wilton, Wright and Yapp,
lest we forget,
killed by mud and patriotism
A Poem by Steve Harrison
Poem for the Darbys of Ironbridge…
You filled the quiet Coalbrookdale valley with spluttering steam and pumping engines
And a million kitchens with precious iron pots and clanking pans..
And puzzled my imagination with cartoon cannibal cauldrons..taken in trows down a wintry Severn
To cannibal cartoon capers..
And you probably invented rust along the way.
You changed the world to Coke and hooked on a single element made the first iron structure
To hang its own see through banner on,
The coracle underneath wobbled under a stolen sky..
I wonder what fires light your furnaces to start that vertical steel stretch upwards to scrape the sky.
And as the school parties attracted like iron filings around your magnetic bridge,
Is there another material to set the world on fire..but be careful young Darby :
As the D and T GCSE syllabus clearly states.
‘Must use a variety of materials ‘ and your obsession with a single element,
Despite creating a structural paradigm that would last..
In today’s schools iron-rigid system,
I’m afraid young Darby, you haven’t passed.
A Poem by Nadia Kingsley
To see what is front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle
where cast-iron pillars were dragged
from Master Reynolds’ furnace
and from that fire
fumes and dust
formed into a long-gone rotunda
I look down
to the now clear river Severn
breathe in aromas
of pollen and fresh green
hear the er-teach er-teach er-teach of great tits
and try to imagine that hellish age
a motorcyclist screams
through gears that pierce
my pastoral bubble
the ever-present road drone
and remind me of Orwell’s words
which make me swear
that nothing changes unless I do so.
If you wish to submit to Paper Moon, please send your poem with the date and location of the workshop you attended to firstname.lastname@example.org