Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Moon's Departure

Science tells us the moon is leaving --
A slow uncoiling of its constant orbit --
Widening and widening
Until it is unraveled from the earth --
Set free from our gravitational tether
To fly away towards worlds unknown --
Taking its somber face and moody dark side,
Astronaut footprints and flags,
Lunokhod (the Russian Moon Robot)
And our mirror-studded laser reflectors
That let us know within a millimeter
Just how far the moon has strayed each day.
What others in the universe will make
Of these mementos is hard to guess.

But more important to us
What will regulate
The flux and flow of madness?
To say nothing of how this will lay waste
To reams of astrologers charts, calendars
And farmers' almanac tables.
And will menstrual flow cease,
Making eggs be planted
In old uterine membranes,
Not freshly minted each month?
And come to think of it,
Will women still be labeled unclean,
Without that flood of blood?
What need will there be
For niddah regulations?
I suppose we will have to invent some engine
To motor the tides on schedule
And the synodic rhythm
That ebbs and flows
Inside every cell of life.

I think we will have to lasso
That lunar orb to earth with cables,
Or duct tape and kite string
If all else fails, and not let it go.
Or fetch another moon from Saturn
(It won't miss just one
With so many gems in its crown.)

Otherwise what will stand for its image
Of muted light and mood change in our poetry?
And what will happen to the role
The moon has played in our dreams?
What beacon will replace
The aura it throws on amore?
How much courage must we lovers have
On a midnight walk on the beach
Without moonlight
To pull our heartstrings together?
Will my heart have to leap
Into the gap between us,
Like a blind aerialist
Not knowing if my beloved
Has reached out, heart open,
To catch me?


  1. You pose so many relevant and poetic questions here, Lillian, but none that so tugged at my heart and imagination as the final one. That image is just beautiful.
    You must join Poets United and share these magnificent poems with a wider audience!

  2. Yes, you must indeed join Poets United!!!!! These poems deserve a larger audience!I love your last four lines SO MUCH! A "blind aerialist"............as are we all!