Poet and storyteller John Rice is available for school visits throughout England, Scotland and Wales to perform his famous one-man poetry show

Painting The Silver Desert



Hey Silvereye!

Hey moon the colour of spoon!

It is time you were redecorated!

We Earthlings perched on this little wet and dry planet

are tired of your unbroken silveriness,

we need cheering up!


So it is time to paint the deep levels of your craters

a bold, intrepid aquamarine.

Your saucery rimrocks shall be streaked with white,

(not a dreadful fog-white but a divine frost-white).

We shall swing high on scaffolding and paint your

slanting mountains in the rowdy colours of wild horses.

Canyons and chasms, rifts and ravines will remain dark,

dark as bark.



Your drab, flat seas will be tinted grassland green;

your battered rocks and boulders a fiery prairie red.

Hand-sized stones will carry the colours of wine and plums;

lilac for all small pebbles.



And your dust, your powdery, gauzy, cheerless dust

we shall also paint. Each speck will be hand-tinted –

each a richer colour than the one before,

and each a finer colour than the one after.



And when, sweetly in the middlenight, we Earthlings

look up to view you bustling across

that muddled, star-thrown sky, you will appear

to us as some majestic eastern emperor might,

bejewelled with scintillating gemstones,

adorned with shimmering pearls.

And you, silver desert, will be the most dazzling,

the most vivid, the most alluring,

the most miraculous chunk of rock in our startling solar system.



And of the sun?

Ah, the sun in her gassy mass of sallow yellow

will be green with envy!



John Rice


The author encourages parents, teachers and librarians to read the poems to children and young people. However, the poems are copyright John Rice 2014 and cannot be reproduced without the express permission of the author.

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