Sonnet for July Full Moon

I’ve been working like crazy the last three weeks, first trying to get camp ready to open, and then teaching. Leah and I took a break for July 4th weekend, but other than that I’ve been running around like a head with the chicken cut off.

As a result, I’ve had time to write the sonnets and songs for different days, but I haven’t had a chance to type them up. Silly me.

Hail, lady Moon, tiger lily of night,
fragile orange petals painted with spots.
Oaks heave roots from marsh, avoiding nine rots.
Food that tree swallow disdains, raccoon might
gobble up before owl’s first twilight flight.
Trout, bass and sunny eat by fits and starts.
Downy rattlesnake recovers from hurts.
Bullfrog eats fly, then becomes snake’s delight.
You rise through pollution to purity
climbing redder than war, redder than blood
though the turning stars wash you white again.
A lonely warbler sings with clarity
of dying red pines and streams choked with mud,
and Nature’s revolt against laws of men.

Part of my work for the BSA involves teaching soil and water conservation, so I’ve been looking over a lot of environmentally damaged areas around the camp and elsewhere. It’s been hard not to connect the soil erosion and water pollution I’ve seen as a result, with the red moon we’ve seen the last few nights around here. Maybe they’re not connected, but I know that bird populations seem to be down — last spring we heard maybe 30 birds during my morning walks, and now we’re hearing only fifteen or so, maybe twenty. It’s partly the weather, but it’s hard not to attribute the decline to human activity, as well.

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