On the Moon, Which is Spiralling Away at 3.8cms a Year


One day, the unthinkable will happen. The moon will leave us.

The earth will be knocked off-course. The wild soup

of the solar winds will burn the colours from the sky.


In those long, dark nights, we will talk illuminations.

Sing songs of the tides that rose and fell,

a kiss on a face that turned and passed.


When the moon has gone, is quite free of us,

we will see him from afar,

in the company of others.


Or worse, alone and distant.

As lost and silent

as space itself.


© Tracey Rhys, 2016

First published in Teaching a Bird to Sing, Green Bottle Press 2016



The Lights Have Eyes


Midnight, the bulb winks its one good eye, buzzes

in its orb like a fly in a jar.


I undress the soaked clothes,

flip over the mattress, show you that with lights, we’re God.


When bulb thinks I’ve gone, I spy round the hinges,

glimpse past the dressing gown hung on its hook


to where it taunts you, fixes its eye on the shape in the covers.

Spiteful bulb won’t let you out, won’t let you go


to the landing, where its sister swings from the chandelier,

to my room, where I’ll keep you safe in the night.


In my bed, I have my own illuminations. Your voice squeals

like brakes in a tunnel, on rails that snake and never stop.


These winter nights, we avoid the fluorescents.

The TV screen is watery, the PC is a torchbeam

in a box.


© Tracey Rhys, 2016

First published in Teaching a Bird to Sing, 2016