Guest Poem by Nicola Warwick

Nicola Warwick was born in Kent and grew up in Suffolk. Her work has appeared in several poetry magazines and competition anthologies. Her pamphlet The Human Portion was published by V. Press in March 2023. Her previous pamphlet, Naming the Land (Maytree Press 2021) has just been shortlisted for the New Angle Prize, a biennial award for a book of literary merit set in or influenced by the region of East Anglia

Launching the Moon

Does it really take two hands to toss it skywards? You’d think it could be done in the space of an owl’s blink, but you’re wrong. You cup this glossy thing, roll it over and over in your palm, hold it to the light and it’s a crystal ball crammed with other people’s futures. Apogee, perigee, this moon doesn’t have a dark side. It’s never gibbous; it’s all light, no shadows. It’s more than glow-in-the-dark, like the stickers you once had on the ceiling. It’s more than Wolf, Snow, Corn or Cold. More than Flower or Strawberry or Pink. It’s a metal weight reflecting the twisted truth of the world, a giant bowling ball to knock down the ten-pins in your life. You tip it from hand to hand and it’s a squidgy sac of fluid, a bullseye, yielding and moulding to your touch. A stub of chalk coating your skin with pale dust. A mistletoe berry full of goo. A lamp to light the love-lives of foxes. An entire truckle of Wensleydale. This strange round globe makes you invincible. You’re an expert gemmologist setting this ball of quartz in a crackle of stars and galaxies. One swipe of your hand and you’ve eclipsed Neil Armstrong’s boot scuffs. You’ve made your mark. Your fingerprints are on the moon.