Monday, April 14, 2014

Eclipse of the Moon


Mass of the Moon Eclipse

Not more slowly than frayed
human attention can bear,
but slow enough to be stately, deliberate, a ritual
we can't be sure will indeed move
from death into resurrection.

As the bright silver inch by inch
is diminished, options vanish,
life's allurements. The last silver
lies face down, back hunched, a husk.

But then, obscured, the whole sphere can be seen
to glow from behind its barrier shadow:  bronze,
unquenchable, blood-light.  And slowly,
more slowly than desolation overcame, overtook
the light, the light


is restored, outspread in a cloudless pasture of
spring darkness where firefly planes
fuss to and fro, and humans
turn off their brief attention
in secret relief. 

No matter:  the rite
contains its power, whether or not
our witness rises toward it;
grandeur plays out the implacable drama
without even flicking aside our trivial
fail to respond.

And yet
we are spoken to, and sometimes
we do stop, do, do give ourselves leave
to listen, to watch.  The moon,
the moon we do after all
love, is dying, are we to live
on a world without moon?  We swallow
a sour terror.

Then
that coppery sphere,
no-moon become once more
full-moon, visible in absence.
And still without haste, silver
increment by silver
increment, the familiar, desired,
disregarded brilliance
 is given again,
given and given.



Denise Levertov
from This Great Unknowing:  Last Poems,
1999, New Directions Press

3 comments:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Denise - always one of my favorites. This eclipse feels strange.

And what comes up in the spam check? The #137, Wolfgang Pauli's nemesis, the "DNA of light."

lauren raine said...

wow, that's really amazing. I've been feeling like the veils are thin of late...............

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I think the veils are mighty thin!