Thursday, August 11, 2011


Walking to my car outside City Lights Bookstore a few nights ago, I glimpsed through the hillside branches a half-moon, bright as a wafer.  Or a rice cracker.  Begging to be grabbed and nibbled.  Or gobbled.  The full moon can stir up appetites that lie dormant,  just waiting to be roused from slumber.

The natural world always throbs more audibly when there's a moon in the sky.  Maybe the moon is night's heartbeat?
The moon is magical, especially when it floats on the surface of ponds or water pails.  Imagine washing your hair in moonwater.  Years ago I imagined a mountain woman doing just that.  Hearing the hounds baying.  Her own heart beating.  Something wild stirring inside her.

Caught in my basin, the moon
shimmies.  She must feel low
down tonight, floating there
like some big-city show

girl’s silk underwear,
daring me stir up her lather
and scrub till I’m crazy
with moon shine, the better

to see my way clear
through the thick of my mama’s
keep, thirsty for what makes
my teeth ache.  This summer

I’ve nothing to dream on but dirt
roads, my mouth full
of singing that swells like the creek
jumping bank at the pull

of the honky-tonk season.
I’m game to go prowling
the backwoods with every bitch
loosed for a dozen miles, howling

at first sight of Her rising
over the pine scrub of Hell’s
Thicket, where in the last
eyes of wolf I hear tell

of, she still
burns, closing in for the kill.

from Black Shawl.


  1. Love the photo and the poem! And LOVE the concept of moon water!

  2. Oh, my. Such gorgeous imagery. Such interesting thoughts. Maybe the moon is night's heartbeat? Quite possibly!
    Thank you for visiting at the window, and for leaving a piece of yourself there.

  3. Kay, I love your moon poems. I read and reread them.

  4. What the best poetry does (for me) is not just to make an unforgettable connection to its subject with images that sing, it also releases more images from somewhere at the bottom of my memory that the poet can't know. How marvelously you've done this--and with a poem so surface simple, like the moon's reflection. Makes me think of my student days and T.S. Eliot's objective correlative, and an image of poets everywhere trying to do this!