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Penelope Shuttle

Tonight the Salome moon

throws off her seven cloud veils -

small, full and high in the east,

she lights her half of the sky

with soft blue and softer grey,

while in the west

Darkness touches his toes,

bows down to me or the moon.


Down on the shore,

an egret, motionless, abiding,

suddenly opens his wide wings,

flies moonwards,

white as the fleece

from which Gideon wrung a bowl of dew,

white as the robe slipping

from the shoulders of Bathsheba.


From The Rialto No 65 (Summer 2008)