Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday poetry

What with the full moon tomorrow, a lunar eclipse beginning a bit after 1 a.m., tomorrow being the winter solstice, and the oft-forgotten December Ursid meteor shower that will peak on the nights of December 22 and 23 (the Geminids peaked before dawn on December 14 and get more raves), here's a moon-inspired poem from American Life in Poetry: Column 300 by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006

From Kooser:
This is the 300th column of American Life in Poetry. I realized a while back that there have been over 850 moons that have gone through their phases since I arrived on the earth, and I haven’t taken the time to look at nearly enough of them. Here Molly Fisk, a California poet, gives us one of those many moons that you and I may have failed to observe.

Hunter's Moon

Early December, dusk, and the sky
slips down the rungs of its blue ladder
into indigo. A late-quarter moon hangs
in the air above the ridge like a broken plate
and shines on us all, on the new deputy
almost asleep in his four-by-four,
lulled by the crackling song of the dispatcher,
on the bartender, slowly wiping a glass
and racking it, one eye checking the game.
It shines down on the fox’s red and grey life,
as he stills, a shadow beside someone’s gate,
listening to winter. Its pale gaze caresses
the lovers, curled together under a quilt,
dreaming alone, and shines on the scattered
ashes of terrible fires, on the owl’s black flight,
on the whelks, on the murmuring kelp,
on the whale that washed up six weeks ago
at the base of the dunes, and it shines

on the backhoe that buried her.