Guest Poem by Mike Barlow

Mike Barlow has won prizes in a number of competitions including first prize in the Amnesty International (2002), Ledbury (2005) and National (2006). Living on the Difference (Smith|Doorstop 2004) won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection. He has published four full collections and a number of pamphlets. Amicable Numbers (Templar 2008) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. His most recent collection is Hotel Anonymous (Pindrop Press 2021)

Blue Moon

Once, after the tail-end of a hurricane
had blown through the day – the roaring
in the trees like a passing train and the rain
berserk as it over-ran the valley – once
there was this quiet October evening,

two full moons in one month, two lives
wrought into one lifetime, the perfect
silver globe up there, a symbol of itself,
not blue, in fact, but hung in a deep
indigo sky and stained by its idiom,

the rare and common moment held
like a pause between breaths in which
we might appreciate, as if it were our own,
the life of another, and a friend’s passing settles
like a fierce wind suddenly quelled.