February 8, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Tony Webster photo



Penn Kemp




Fifty Years On: Walking on the Moon in Moulay Ibrahim



We have landed they tell us

in the centre for all Morocco


of magic & the old ways

high in the Atlas mountains

Moulay Ibrahim.


We have heard this.


What we have not heard or seen

happens for the first time

today via the one TV in the one cafe:


Apollo astronauts land on the moon

& high-step in slow motion, gawky

in grey scale.


“Ha!” says Omar. “What a stunt.

Those Americans are so clever.


But we know. Moroccans

are not easily tricked. This

is a fiction to entertain the people.


Quelle blague.”


He pretends to toss

a rock off the dusty floor at the screen.


The crowd in the cafe laugh

at the outlandish gear, the preposterous

instrument & helmet gimmicks

clumsier than any cartoon.


Still scoffing, the moon men jostle outside

& hidden in hooded dun djellabas


melt into the lunar dusk of their grey plateau.






Mary McDonald photo

Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp is the author most recently of Fox Haunts (Aeolus House, 2018) and Local Heroes  (Insomniac Press, 2018). New eco-poems, including her multimedia collaboration with artist Mary McDonald on www.riverrevery.ca, will be published as River Revery (Insomniac Press, 2019). Quattro Books has published two other works, Barbaric Cultural Practice, and an anthology Penn edited, Jack Layton: Art in Action.

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