Cavalier Moon. A poem by Berni Dwan

The sassy crescent moon reclines on the velvety pitch black
chaise lounge of a liquorice night sky with a kind of ‘fuck you’
attitude: ‘Things are fine up here matey.’ The stars and planets
wink knowingly, in cahoots with that uppity cavalier moon; those
twinkling acolytes have it cushy, and

yet they look infuriatingly serene suspended in the Dublin sky. That
mixed message confounds me, rankles relentlessly with my
creeping dread disquiet. The old are locked away, the young are
hemmed in, the middle-aged are disinclined to look ahead. But

are things fine up there in that swathe of planetary glitz flaunting itself in
Dublin’s night sky? Is that sphere truly celestial? The good people of
Wuhan and Lombardy have paid the highest price: they see you too. Are
they fleetingly beguiled by your glitter? Does your luminescence mitigate
their grief when they glance upwards in despair? Now

we are all living like astronauts, living the dream – or nightmare – depending on
what you wish for – following the rules to save ourselves from ourselves.


Berni’s poems have been published in Poetry Ireland Review, The Galway Review, Cránnog, Irish Times New Irish Writing, and A New Ulster and Stepaway Magazine among others. Her first collection, Frankly Baby, was published by Lapwing Poetry in 2018. She performed her one-woman show, Unrhymed Dublin, in the Smock Alley Theatre 2016 Scene and Heard Festival. In 2017, she won second prize in the Johnathan Swift Poetry Award. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award. Her show The Seven Ages – Like It or Not with fellow poets Michael J Whelan, Jimmy O’Connell and Alan O’Brien, featured in the Smock Alley Theatre 2020 Scene + Heard Festival. Visit her website.

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