John Bradley's Poetry

Celestial Pablum
                          After Remedios Varo 's painting of the same name


I must feed the moon, you say, as you turn

the wheel, grinding gelid night stars into ever

bright pablum. It's wrong, though, to consume

living light. Nothing can be more right than riven salt,

when silted with kindness, you tell the stars, as you grind

their shine into swirling powder on the small ceramic plate.

But you are captive here, Remedios, bound by

celestial task, punished for bringing edible light

into this inevitable world. Stand back, you warn.

Few can resist the shifting, sifted light. But why,

my lower back asks, why cage the curling crescent

moon? Soundless as moth crumb. Why forever

feed on its unending hunger? I must follow this

spoon, you note, into the merest mouth. Even

as it glows with the shine of skull.
But why? Why not

let the moon glaze our flesh? Let it feast on vowel

of owl and vole. Silence. I must feed the moon,

you say, grinding the cosmos into dust.