My Nights of Moon
O moon, o magical globe of cratered light,
Beloved of Pyramus and Thisbe moon, shines
On kings and queens and rude mechanicals
With benign and regal light alike. I sit alone
Under whispering trees in the whitened night
And think of all my nights of moon, of goddess
And gypsy, faerie folk and ancient poet,
Of silvered temples and silhouette cities,
Faint bulbous moon at midday caught on church spire,
Of loping jackals howling to your unheeding face
From high savannah grass, of indigo skies clear
And faintly starred, bleached by your august presence,
Of coin-bright puddles, spot-lit lovers entwined on hard bench,
Bodies a-fire under your amazed gaze, stooping bats
Tearing parabolic paths across your tawny steppes.
And then the half-lit harvest moon—amber, heavy-lidded
As an old one-eyed tomcat, vast black velvet paw
Flexing somewhere in the dark. Crescent moon swings
Low like a swift scythe, hanging from her Venus fulcrum.
And one wondrous night, all the planets in a line,
Dropping plumb from your zenith to the sea.
And often carousing marooned on islands,
O see the wicked moon, she skitters sharp-edged, gives
The skinny palms four black crisscross shadows each
As we meander laughing on heaving white sand,
Falling soft on a four Mai Tai night!
Once sailing on a marbled dawn sea I have seen you float
Serene, fading afar like a soft, opalescent fruit, sinking slow
OÈr the faint waking volcanoes of Java, as the sun, your brother
Rises broad and showy, on The Morning of the World,
The beauteous island of Bali. And still I sit and smile at you
As I age, still always myself, as I watch and wonder, while you,
Dear Moon, constantly renew and re-invent and reveal yourself
In passing, sailing in orbit out there on all my nights of Moon.