The stars above Joe’s Cottage

silhouette of man under blue sky during nighttime

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on

For Joe and Kitty


I came from a village where Victorian lampposts hung like dying daffodils

and the milky way was outshone by automated halogen each night at four pm

there was a rumour that above us was a universe but we never got to see it.


The first time we saw the universe over Joe’s cottage we swirled around like satellites

and the milky way offered sprigs of stars like gypsy heather in pressed foil

over this old sky, this old cottage where pigs and men ate in the same single room.


I came from a village where night shift workers like my Dad never loved the stars

there nebulae were the blue and green chests of pigeons shitting on factory presses

My Dad was a bitter man, an ale man, a man’s man, a nowhere man of Lennon


I am a starman

at Joe’s cottage we were children with the ancients –

Orion, Pegasus, and the firework of a tossed fag exploding on the wall like Apollo.


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