Sunday On The Moon

When Easter came,
we were still on lunar mission.
The men laughed, but we women
wanted new dresses so badly we could taste it.

How to know the winter and its heavy silent snows have gone?
The mild air on our legs.
The light material on our skin.

Ashes to ashes,
as last month the Wednesday came and went.
Dust to dust,
and that we have plenty of,
but here, there is no resurrection,
just craters
and our restlessness made worse by proximity to The White Lady.

Jen began to speak more and more often of apple trees.
Our spartan quarters, the view out the window,
were all white, like blossoms in April.
When she began to laugh for no reason,
and to see snakes in the electrical,
we knew she had crossed, retrograde, into some uncharted sector.

We had only two males on the mission,
now just one.
Jen planted a root-blade in the other,
dreaming of a man-orchard instead of wasteland.
She has undone her own purpose,
and gives her scented wrists indefinitely to the soft restraints
so reminiscent of passing clouds.

Jen-bird, we call her,
Sylvia and I.
Stephens just calls her "that fucking bitch".
It is Easter Sunday on the moon,
and we haven't got even the trappings of religion--
no statue of the Blessed Virgin,
no candles,
no censer.
It is a little shocking how important those trappings become
when they are absolutely, irretrievably absent.

This mission is like hearing an endless, hollow busy signal from hell;
There is hopeless, and then there is hopeless from here.
Sylvia and I made apple blossoms from anything white we could find,
and created a coil tree to lean in a corner of the med lab.
Jen-bird, we said.
Call the snakes, call down temptation--
God knows we could use a little more of it.

Stephens hates us for comforting the murderess,
and for not letting him fuck us.
"The nuns" he calls us, sneering, frustrated.
Jen-bird is the one who would have,
but he is afraid of her now.
Our one joy is offering to turn her loose,
just to hear him call us mad.
We are, oh we are,
and we were, long before we ever saw his face.

for Kenia's Sunday challenge at Real Toads!


Kenia Santos said…
Here I am with the same things to say again! I love the way you put science fiction inside poetry.

As for the poem, we are all really mad, aren't we?

Thanks for writing to my challenge.

Kiss. <3
Lynn said…
Sunday on the moon - love your imagination, FB.
hedgewitch said…
I don't know how you manage to create these realistic and vital scenes out of mere words, Shay--I can see the women, the view from their station windows, the dance of the mad, and the wild beauty of the emptiness of space transformed by the hallucinatory gifts of wish and dream. My favorite line is 'This mission is like hearing an endless, hollow busy signal from hell.." but there are many others equally excellent.
Kerry O'Connor said…
So many of your poems could be the basis of a novel - you have that ability to create character, conflict and authentic space in your lines.
TexWisGirl said…
madness...brilliantly laid out for us.
brudberg said…
Amazing.. I love sci-fi poetry.. and the mixing soil into technology.. If you get the chance of ever reading Aniara by Harry Martinsson it would be just right for you.. I think you pick up exactly the right feelings how humans would react in space.. so much believable than those hi-tech adventures ... I prefer books like Solaris infinitely compared to the other stuff...
Mama Zen said…
This is incredible.
Easter Sunday on the moon is one crazy but utterly believable day in space that leaves me rooting for the girls!
HansHB said…
A great post!
Unknown said…
An amazing narative - some pretty scary places rattling around in that big old brain of yours
Susie Clevenger said…
You let us into the window of such a grand piece and we pray somewhere in the room of words we will find more. Madness often comes from being burnt by another...I wonder at all the secrets in the nunnery. I so love your work!!
HermanTurnip said…
I love the idea of Easter on the moon, where the women are on a different plane than men, seeking answers to questions we men have difficulty in asking. Wonderful piece!
Other Mary said…
Whoa, that's some kind of a Sunday! Incredible write Shay.
Unknown said…
No censer, maybe, but I couldn't hep but wonder, is there incense on the moon?
Lent has taken on a whole new imagery! :)
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl said…
what a wonderful 'story' ... i live in a small apartment with a man so i can relate to jen-bird .. sort of ...
G-Man said…
How very...Catholic!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
There is no end to your incredible stories.......this one is amazing. I can see it all. Penned to perfection.
Wild madness - knowing you, it's probably documentary. Loved this. Mosk
Margaret said…
"It is a little shocking how important those trappings become
when they are absolutely, irretrievably absent."

a rather intriguing line! This reads like almost like a jacket cover to a sci-fi book! You've got the quirky characters and the pendulum of "Catholic" guilt. :) Keep writing….

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