The colonists wiped their boots on straw mats,
the rocket, fuelled by Elon's musk, would
take them sailing under Sagittarius and The Plough.
Each wipe was a haphazard grapevine,
erratic shuffling of feet,
they didn't want to carry the dirt of this world with them,
clean soles meant clean souls for the
soon to be Mooners.
Two sides emerged amongst the passengers,
separated by a gangway of
one metre of speckled Lino.
The Saints saw a chance to design their own steeple;
The Strangers just wanted to see if Wallace and Gromit were being truthful,
they packed more crackers than the devout,
based their dreams on the stop motion theory.
When the countdown ended,
two gangly blowtorches strapped either side,
created a hard caramelised layer on the
they were leaving behind.
Halfway between the great black sea and the
absolute darkness, light flickered.
waved from the sun like the
bell bottomed jeans of a seventies TV star.
Fiery winds knocked the rocket off course,
of course none of them knew.
When they landed far away from Neil's flag, the
passengers declared the stones in the dry river
were beds. Ideas forged; a government made.
The Clangers whistled a tune of jealousy at
such a fine foundation. Sewn eyes turned green.
Differences were put aside. No more 'my religion' or
'you're lack of religion'.
The dark side of the moon didn't care about Dawkins and Darwin,
crosses marked the graves of the crew that didn't make it, no longer
marking moral supremacy, hairy chests, and cleavages.
The lost souls of travellers that departed, died
for a number of reasons. Some croaked from g-force
sickness, most starved after the space maggots
ate their supply of Jaffa Cakes.
After a debate they named the new settlement Fraggle Rock,
one of the large moonstones looked like Jim Henson's hand.
In the land of many craters no-one is a puppet,
the strings are cut. When you have nothing tying you up - Saints
become strangers. A sea of unnamed faces in an unforgiving world.
As the first days passed
they came to the bay of Epiphany, a
realisation that there was no food on the moon.
the silver shelled turtle was not uninhabited,
natives queued up to see the pale faces, even
Sagittarius and The Plough dangled down to
catch a glimpse of their starving eyes; hungry frowns.
The Tribes of Selene showed the weary how to use their hands.
Taught them how to fish for asteroids and build
houses out of scrapped lunar landers. They never took
more titanium plating than was needed. The exuberant Mooners
declared a National Holiday,
commercialised cards littered the scene amongst golf balls and shadows;
they had microwavable turkey dinners shipped
from the International Space Station.
The tribes brought with them a cheese platter.
The Strangers knew they'd been right all along.
(Me at the Illuminate guest event 2017, Royal William Yard. Pictures thanks to Heather Sabel)
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Thom Boulton is a contemporary free verse poet who lives and performs in the South West, UK. He is Plymouth's current Poet Laureate.