Goodnight moon

This entry is part 22 of 37 in the series Bridge to Nowhere: poems at mid-life


After hearing about a poetry workshop where references to the moon were strongly discouraged

Goodnight moon you nail clipping you garlic bulb

Goodnight moon baring a fat white buttock

Goodnight moon over only a paper Miami

Goodnight moon you’ve been a great audience

Goodnight moonstruck wino posing as a poet

Goodnight moon and tidings good or ill

Goodnight moon with fluids leaking

Goodnight moon bound to your orbital bed

Goodnight moon of other planets

Goodnight moonscaped mountain of tailings

Goodnight moon I had a lovely time

Goodnight moon hello freeway exit

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Dave, I never had this read to me as a child but I love what you made of it. I’m particularly fond of the nail clipping and freeway exit.


    1. Thanks. It’s a spectacularly dull book. Its very dullness and predictability are what make young children of a certain mindset so fond of it, I think.


  2. I like the moon as audience. It’s a good audience usually.


    1. I was thinking of the way performers like to close their shows by thanking the city they’re in — “Good night, New York!” But then once I wrote it I realized, yeah, the moon is (at least when a crescent) and ear-shaped muse who never talkes back. No wonder poets and crooners are so fond of her.


  3. I don’t know this children’s book, and so didn’t get the fact that you were referencing it until I read the comments. My favourite line is ‘ Goodnight moon bound to your orbital bed’, which for no earthly reason I can think of pleases me immensely, the sound of it oddly comforting.

    Outside the most extraordinary storm is raging. Everything in this tall though sturdy house banging and thumping in unnervingly powerful gusts of wind. I went out to the stable to check the animals… I think my torch spooked them more than the weather… and in three minutes of exposure to the storm the bitter cold has sucked the breath out of my lungs and left me gasping. So I keep on repeating like a mantra… ‘Goodnight moon bound to your orbital bed’ because it’s making me smile in the teeth of my unease. If Ty Isaf undergoes lift-off before the morning comes and I’m never seen again, take comfort Dave from the fact that I went quoting your poem!


      1. Dave, I fear there IS no cellar! I think I’ll just hide under the duvet with Jack and hope it all goes away! (I’m sure we’ll make it. This house has survived storms for two hundred years.)


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