And if my smile seems straight as the Tropic of Cancer, it’s because
nature isn’t magic, it’s just a mystery to us …
It’s a bit cloudy round here, which isn’t just a metaphor for the dark and stormy times we find ourselves in. I got some beautiful views of the waxing moon last week, but over the weekend it has been hidden behind a grim drizzle. Again, not just a metaphor. In lieu of an actual supermoon, for others who may not be able to see it, here is a poetrymoon:
This is what you came home for, you
and the mountain and the forest and the stars in the dark
and the moon, half a blink from full,
low, white and cool as the eye
of a jackdaw in the feathered night. You move
slowly at first, where the trees block the light.
The wood expands, contracts you down
the gallery of its ribs. Your breath is a tight
hiss in your ears, strange as the voices
you catch spilling up from the village, mixed
with hoots of an owl, the crunch of boots
on leafmeal and gravel. The open is silvered,
fixed in reverse – a daguerreotype portrait.
You stop at each curve of the path and stare.
The valleys drown under floods of fluorescing
cloud. The high ground glints and shifts.
Noises rise like sounds above surface
heard under water, distorted – a shout –
a motorbike’s revs as the church clock strikes
midnight. You count the chimes, climb
far out at sea, dreaming land
from the ghost of a ship’s bell tolling. Scared
of falling, but more of sinking. You keep
pushing uphill. Your bare arms shine
like armour. You are a crescent, waxing.
A few feet further, half an hour longer,
and you’ll be complete: a perfect mirror,
spheroid and luminous, reflecting everything,
unable to go back, ever.
From my forthcoming collection Basic Nest Architecture. An earlier version appeared in Flax 018: The Crowd Without.
And for those who prefer their moon singing, a few highlights from my ‘moon’ playlist:
- case/lang/veirs ‘Supermoon’
- Dar Williams ‘Calling the Moon’
- Neko Case ‘I wish I was the moon’
- Bat for Lashes ‘Moon and Moon’
- Feist ‘My Moon My Man’ (you may catch me trying to recreate this video in an airport occasionally)