The Man in the Moon

Words: Steve De France
Illustration: Adrian Theuma

Click for full size. It’s worth it!

Full text below.


I am watching the moon
when I bump into a man with just a mouth
in the middle of his face.

This mouth—grins—and asks for a light.
Is this some kind of a joke? I ask.

He twists and opens his ancient mouth
into the shape of a waiting grave.

I stand looking into nothing.

I don’t know why or for what reason
but I suddenly recall a childhood
memory—a dream, or perhaps both.

I can’t be sure—maybe it is now I dream.

A dream of such pure white snow
it clings like a freezing shroud
to the windward side of a young girl’s face.

Passing me on the street she smiles
so sweet a smile—its memory & sweetness
has lasted all of my days.

“Have you a light?” the mouth demands.

My hand, under a broken street lamp,
trembles & the flame—ethereal—surges.

Just before everything goes dark
something funny happens to the moon.
It tilts at a crazy angle as the universe
pours through a rip in the sky.


Steve De France is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in America, England, Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in both 2002, 2003 & 2006. Recently, his work has appeared in The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, Clean Sheets, Poetry Bay, The Yellow Medicine Review and The Sun. In England he won a Reader’s Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem “Hawks.” In the United States he won the Josh Samuels’ Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem: “The Man Who Loved Mermaids.” His play THE KILLER had it’s world premier at the GARAGE THEATER in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for hiswriting. Most recently his poem “Gregor’s Wings” has been nominated for The Best of The Net by Poetic Diversity.

Adrian Theuma is a 24-year-old illustrator with a special love for the weird, the wonderful and the unexpectedly morbid. His work can be seen in local comic anthologies, roleplaying rule-books, gig posters and on his blog: