October Moon on Lake

By Sydney Lea

June 15, 2015

October Moon on Lake

I have seen too many such moon-rises in seven decades to write a poem about this one. But isn’t that what I’ve always done?

Perhaps, yet I won’t write it, with its reference to Selena or to some familiar musical standard--"That Old Devil Moon,” say--or whatever. To imagine such allusions is to feel self-contempt, as if I had written about butterflies as tokens of fragility.

For all that, gentle reader, behold these two loons that paddle so close along the riffled band of light, which the moon has deftly laid on the nervous water by the shore, where leaves titter above me. The birds’ calls are plaintive, an adjective so precise it needs no iteration.

Mere silhouettes, to be sure, the drake and hen, so at least I won’t mention their plumage, how sun changes the feathers’ color with every stroke. I’m not tempted to do that now--or ever again.

Oh, there’s probably more material here than my melancholia allows, more for un-jaundiced eyes to see, more, perhaps, for some writer to signify.

It’s only that I can’t figure how, or what, or why. So I should merely be quiet, and will be, no matter the athletic swirls and turns of those three swallows, who, dusk having ceded to dark, should long since have holed up. I’m sure they would have, had not the moon been so big and bold.


Photo "moon script" provided by Richard Freeman, via Flickr.com creative commons license.

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