finally slept last night. Clio slipped her leash this morning, and is running around outside somewhere. I can’t find her, or when I can find her she runs away from me again.
November Full Moon
Hail, lady Moon, as pond becomes stillness
of ice. Two hawks meet in wind-embraced lust.
Yet late, lone grackle notices coldness;
his broken wings lie under first snow-dust.
Geese, rushing from shore to open water,
shatter first ice to shards; fox follows not.
Coyote licks lips at deer’s only daughter:
heartless he’ll leave her, and her bones will rot.
But magnolia blooms wear a wrap of fur;
her April blossoms she’ll not lose to frost.
Though hidden from view they’ll age and mature
this winter — and this year — she shall outlast.
Everything waits watch on three moons of cold,
fearing today yet planning to grow old.
December New Moon
Hail, bright crescent, as pond turns to mirror
of your horns, and nimbus rings each star.
Paw prints of squirrel, of chipmunk and hare
proves not every beast sleeps deep from furor
in hibernation; Some live in terror,
going abroad in search of seeds to bear
homeward to tree-hollow or stone-wall lair…
though much can lead to fatal error.
Perhaps among downed leaves, there are some seeds
to nourish pregnant mouse. Acorns under oak
shall feed the squirrel, if he remembers
in March its grave among December weeds.
Twilight draws Night behind her like a cloak,
smothering the year’s last dying embers.
December Full Moon
Hail, lady Moon, as crows play keep-away,
with squirrel’s acorn; and hawks huddle down,
gazing through bare elms for signs of live prey.
Fox dances on frozen snow, playing clown
to regal Orion, leading his dogs.
Water runs in freshets under black ice,
while snow blankets leaves and beetle-bored logs,
concealing turkey-mast, deceiving geese.
Strong oak shreds under hail of frozen rain,
but willow dances and survives the gale.
Moose lingers at street; little can she glean
either for herself or her young bull male.
No one but you shall see all her story,
hiding truth in your shadow and glory.
This marks the end of a three-year cycle of lunar poems. Twenty-five this year (one extra full moon), twenty-five last year, twenty-four the year before. Plus thirty-six solar sonnets, and forty-four (30-line) odes for pagan festivals and holidays. Plus 16 odes and 16 sonnets for the quarters and cross quarter days, and four for the seasons. One hundred ninety poems…. three thousand, three hundred forty-eight lines.
This project is finished in first draft. Is there editing to be done? Yes. There are at least three poems to discard completely and do over. Another seven or ten need a major overhaul. But I hope that you’ve enjoyed the sequence, and that it has mattered to you.