This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Kevin Bailey Six Poems
Miss Shapley’s Poem
(An Episode from The Red Planet)


Disk 1

‘Miss Shapley must be proud of her two moons’ I said,
as I put down my glass on the window ledge
to take in the panoramic views of Tharsis
and jaundiced clouds fingering Olympus…

She was confused. I explained how Mrs. Hall
(née Shapley) had persuaded husband Aspha
to look again, to strain his eyes to find the moons
we see each night, fall and rise in brilliance –

‘Oh’, she said. A disinterested tone, yet
meaning more. She was agitating for bed.
I heard her get up from the soft-lounger and pad
half naked to some space uncomfortably near…

Outside dusk is falling and the familiar stars
rise up from the deep blue sunset… Mandelstam
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