Algo Poetry-Behind the Lines

New Clear Moon or Nuclear Moon?

Or the sonics of phonics.

This is the fifth poem from my third collection, A Light Goes On

The title for today’s piece came first and then the work followed.

“Nuclear Moon” was written in late 2021 / early 2022, when the international news cycle was replete with the unimaginable prospect of a return to the divisive politics of the Cold War and the unthinkable (at the time) prospect of the military invasion of a sovereign European state.

I had also been watching the terrifying “Threads” (1984) ,a movie, that showed the aftermath of an atomic apocalypse in the United Kingdom. A terrific but terrifying piece of theatre that shows what a public service broadcaster can achieve. As an exercise, I had written along while watching.

All of this coloured the work ,as did sadly ,the ever more prescient prospect of War in Europe, as a tyrant built up his forces along Europe’s eastern border. It is telling that in looking through my notes and drafts in January of last year, that the following poem in draft form was also in there:-

A Nuclear Ukraine

“A Nuclear Ukraine”,

That phrase keeps bouncing into my mind,

Maybe it’s the double “Uke” sound

And here comes Ukulele.

Maybe it’s the News cycle,

Maybe it’s anxiety,

Maybe it’s memory 

Or my sense of humor has retreated fully into the darkness

And forgotten helicopters carrying parts of a concrete sarcophagus.

The above referenced not only the news cycle but the catastrophe that was Chernobyl. I can still remember ,as a six year old ,waking up to the news on morning television and people in Ireland closing their windows all along the east coast, essentially praying for the ill wind to not reach our shores.

For Nuclear Moon, I attempted to take all the talk of impending and remembered armageddons and turn it into a love poem.

The nuclear personified and turned on it’s head as someone, rather than something, who changes the landscape instantly and has “bloodied the moon”.



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