Poetry

Moon Over Mountain Pass

A bright moon rising above Tian Shan Mountain,
Lost in a vast ocean of clouds.
The long wind, across thousands upon thousands of miles,
Blows past the Jade-gate Pass.
The army of Han has gone down the Baiteng Road,
As the barbarian hordes probe at Qinghai Bay.
It is known that from the battlefield
Few ever live to return.
Men at Garrison look on the border scene,
Home thoughts deepen sorrow on their faces.
In the towered chambers tonight,
Ceaseless are the women’s sighs.

~ Li Po

Spring Night

Nasturtium flowers glowing orange on the darkened fence.
Sumptuous Jasmine weaving a wicked scentual spell on the breeze
Pin stars on purplish evening quilt
The mating scream of the city cat
Touches my soul. Tickles me with delight

~Jeanne Rose

Fall Down

Fall down.
Strange gods arrive in fast enemy poses.
Their shirts are soft marrying
cloth and hair together.
All along their arms ornaments
conceal veins bluer than blood
pretending welcome.
Soft lizard eyes connect.
Their soft drained insect cries erect
new fear, where fears reign.
The rustling of sex against their skin.
The wind withdraws all sound.
Stamp your witness on the punished ground.

~Jim Morrison, “The New Creatures”

Song to Pomona

A silver dew lies on the Autumn grasses,
Autumnal sunshine habits every tree;
From each bejewelled bough there slowly passes
Immeasured scent and sweetness up to thee,
Pomorum Patrona! Pomorum Patrona!
O hear, as thou wert wont to hear of old,
Though guardian goddess of red and gold.

Banners, above thine orchard temples flying.
Flame a new splendour from each glowing glade,
And radiant hills of clustered light are lying
Beneath the lichened pillars on the shade,
Pomorun Patrona! Pomorum Patrona!
O give, as thou wert wont to give of old,
Though guardian goddess of red and gold.

With ample stores abundantly she blesses
Each nesting hamlet of the hills and plains,
Shaking within their thirsty cider-presses
The glory garnered from her woodland fanes.
Pomorun Patrona! Pomorum Patrona!
We praise thy name with voices of young and old,
Though guardian goddess of red and gold.

~ Arthur Rackham

Selenomancy

The lunacy
And the absence of moonlight,
lying here staring at my ceiling
because I can’t see the sky.

By the dim light of my little leaning
tower of pisa lamp-a tiny plastic architectural wonder,
with its small switch so old and functional-
I didn’t see it coming.

It’s the lunacy
that keeps me wondering how you are,
if you are seeing that moon again tonight, the same one
in the backyard
with the feathery tips of evergreens jabbing into it.

How crazy it was to have spied it together,
when things weren’t so strained.

I think you have me staring at this ceiling
while you stare at the moon.

I think you have lunacy, too.

I want to tell you about a lunatic’s sweetness,
galvanized by her belief that somehow
all this isn’t her fault.

~Janelle Farvour

The Hunter’s Moon

The Hunter’s Moon rides high,
High o’er the close-cropped plain;
Across the desert sky
The herded clouds amain
Scamper tumultuously,
Chased by the hounding wind
That yelps behind.

The clamorous hunt is done,
Warm-housed the kennelled pack;
One huntsman rides alone
With dangling bridle slack;
He wakes a hollow tone,
Far echoing to his horn
In clefts forlorn.

The Hunter’s Moon rides low,
Her course is nearly sped.
Where is the panting roe?
Where hath the wild deer fled?
Hunter and hunted now
Lie in oblivion deep:
Dead or asleep.

~Mathilde Blind

Moon Fishing

When the moon was full they came to the water.
some with pitchforks, some with rakes,
some with sieves and ladles,
and one with a silver cup.

And they fished til a traveler passed them and said,
“Fools,
to catch the moon you must let your women
spread their hair on the water —
even the wily moon will leap to that bobbing
net of shimmering threads,
gasp and flop till its silver scales
lie black and still at your feet.”

And they fished with the hair of their women
till a traveler passed them and said,
“Fools,
do you think the moon is caught lightly,
with glitter and silk threads?
You must cut out your hearts and bait your hooks
with those dark animals;
what matter you lose your hearts to reel in your dream?”

And they fished with their tight, hot hearts
till a traveler passed them and said,
“Fools,
what good is the moon to a heartless man?
Put back your hearts and get on your knees
and drink as you never have,
until your throats are coated with silver
and your voices ring like bells.”

And they fished with their lips and tongues
until the water was gone
and the moon had slipped away
in the soft, bottomless mud.

~Lisel Mueller

Sleepyhead

As I lay awake in the white moon light,
I heard a faint singing in the wood,
‘Out of bed,
Sleepyhead,
Put your white foot now,
Here are we,
Neath the tree
Singing round the root now!’

I looked out of window, in the white moon light,
The trees were like snow in the wood–
‘Come away,
Child, and play
Light with the gnomies;
In a mound,
Green and round,
That’s where their home is.
Honey sweet,
Curds to eat,
Cream and frumenty,
Shells and beads,
Poppy seeds,
You shall have plenty.’

But soon as I stooped in the dim moon light
To put on my stocking and my shoes,
The sweet sweet singing died sadly away,
And the light of the morning peeped through:
Then instead of the gnomies there came a red robin
To sing of the buttercups and dew.

– Walter de la Mare

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