All the Moon by Matthew Chamberlin


Through the forest dancing
come my porchswing aunties dressed to nines,
in highlaced shoes they grind
the cattails low below the plum-bruise pines.

Auntie Two throws glances westward,
scorching plain and soggy marsh—
with backbreak thrust begins to molt.
Now prances, jolts the bone-choked vaults.

O! The pinchtuck moon lies fat
upon the wetlands.

Blackheeled Goblins three draw near,
bound long-limbed on the swale.
In torchlight sparkle Wart proceeds.

Behind, athwart a Hound of Hell
Orc canters primly, wails songs
of deeds and bangs his goblin gongs.

Auntie Three plucks Gormtooth
from his perch amid the swaying boughs.
He chuckles knobby, slobbers, sucks
a shinbone stick and bites.   

Meanwhile all the moon in fullness
shudders, thins and shimmers, casts
off ruddy glimmerskins.

The pale skull beneath grins wide.
Borne by hellbent Hound
Orc sails across the saltpans.

O! The driftwood tide slips in,
and out again.

Aunty One cracks seaside knuckles, snags
the wave-draped skins and whistles.
Wrings and drips to shrieks of glee
from broom-back Aunties Two and Three.


Matthew Chamberlin lives in Virginia, where he also writes. His poetry can be found in Apex magazine, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Phantom Drift, Jersey Devil Press, as well as other places.

Published 10/28/21


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