I’m a path of light across your room, up the wall, into the mirror and out again through the open window, into the garden now a negative, shadow on shadow on black. I’ll sit on a branch with the owl, show him the hummocking mole, slip in and out between trees - I’m a flitter, a flibbertigibbet, play hide-and-seek with your certainties. On the twenty-eighth day I’ll be gone, your world will turn black , you’ll walk into a door, stub your toe in the darkness, and the owl will call, a lunatic cry, from the asylum up on the hill, night after night. But if you look out, look up you’ll see my new crescent, delicate, small in the overall blackness, a fragile sign - and you’ll know I’m on my way back. Lorna Dexter 24.10.20
“This poem came out of a prompt from Philip, suggesting we write a lie
about some solid heavenly body – the sun, moon, stars, Milky Way, etc.
Although I love the sun, thrive on its heat, come alive in the summer, the
moon’s phases have always had a strong effect on me, altering my hormone
levels every month. At full moon I’m speedy and active and wakeful,
sometimes not sleeping at all. At the dark of the moon I’m dozy, depressed,
with no energy, bumping into things.
“In his prompt, Philip had used the word ‘flibbertigibbet’, which I love, for its
complexity, the music of its repetitions and its silliness. I looked up its history
and it means ‘foolish woman, talking nonsense’ – so I had to incorporate that !
Which probably led me to instinctively give the Moon that voice, talking to me.
Of course the moon’s changeability is not a lie exactly, it’s just the way the
relationship between the sun, moon and earth, three very solid ‘realities’, seems
to us from our shadowed position on earth, only one of several realities.
“So this poem includes all my feelings about the moon – its strange transforming
light at the full; its very real effect still on my body and mind, no longer a
menstruating woman; and her apparent changeability.
“I live in the country, and my bedroom looks out on the garden, with big pine
trees beyond the wall, where the owl sits and calls, and I have a wide view of
the night sky, so the scene in the poem is very real, not a lie at all!”
A Necklace of Stars, working with older people in Derbyshire, is supported by Arts Council England, Arts Derbyshire, DCC Public Health and Derbyshire County Council Home Library Service. This project is particularly aimed at countering isolation; during the pandemic we’ve been working using distance methods – post and phone conversations. Lorna’s poem started with one of these telephone discussions.