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09 April 2008

Poets are our night lights

Full_moon_small_2 Night Light

The moon is not green cheese.
It is china and stands in this room.
It has a ten-watt bulb and a motto:
Made in Japan.

Whey-faced, doll-faced,
it's closed as a tooth
and cold as the dead are cold
till I touch the switch.

Then the moon performs
its one trick:
it turns into a banana.
It warms its subjects,

it draws us into light,
just as I knew it would

when I gave ten dollars

to the pale clerk

in the store that sold
everything.

She asked, did I have a car?

She shrouded the moon in tissue

and laid it to rest in a box.
The box did not say moon.

It said This side up.

I tucked the moon into my basket

and bicycled into the world.
By the light of the sun

I could not see the moon

under my sack of apples,

moon under slab of salmon
moon under clean laundry,

under milk its sister

and bread its brother,

moon under meat.
Now supper is eaten.

Now laundry is folded away.

I shake out the old comforters.

My nine cats find their places
and go on dreaming where they left off.

My son snuggles under the heap.

His father loses his way in a book.

It is time to turn on the moon.
It is time to live by a different light.

-Nancy Willard

It's a good question, perhaps: by what light are we living?

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Dear Patti,
So, I came across some moon poems which I almost sent, but they weren't that great...instead I read something that I thought you would like about stories:

"Telling a Story

The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other's memory. This is how people care for themselves.

-Barry Lopez
in Crow and Weasel"

Cited in Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat's book (one of my favorite books ever, ever): Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life. P.S. This is the book that was stuck in my night stand drawer, I finally got it unstuck !!!

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