Magazine article The Spectator

The Death of the Moth

Magazine article The Spectator

The Death of the Moth

Article excerpt

(after an anonymous entry in the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society open competition, 2010)

Opening at random faded cloth

Shows some foxing and the place,

Between two pages, where a moth

Became its ghost, a powdery blur -

A solitary reader one Spring night

Saw a furtive shadow bloom

And flicker past her downturned face

And skirt the lamp, and heard its whirr

Then shut this sudden paper tomb

And stopped for good its stop-go flight. . . .

A secretary 'making use'

Of precious lamplit hours between

Her supper- and bed-times? A dad

Relaxing while his wife made dinner

(Oh darling, she says fondly, I've been

Such a fool; - You silly goose,

I'm sure it will be lovely . . .)? Or

A schoolmaster, twill- and tweed-clad,

Pipe in hand and black labrador

Beside him in Park Royal or Pinner? …

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