I built a fire from the trimmings of the honeysuckle which threatened to devour the right corner of my front yard, by the street, almost chewing my neighbor’s mailbox. Most of the limbs were dead, and the live ones had a few days to season, leaves still attached, ready to crackle the blaze to life. I started with the lined notebook paper holding my notes from yesterday’s class, now obsolete. I don’t save notes from semester to semester. When I lecture on topics as dry as essay format and outlining and works cited pages, the least I can do is to bring the freshness of new life, thoughts not yet ready for the woodpile, analogies and strategies not yet prime for kindling. Then I tore the lid flaps from a small cardboard box, most recently the delivery vessel for new pens, 0.7’s, Sharpies. I heard they glide like Kristi Yamaguchi, so I opened the Amazon app on my smartphone, searched them, clicked “Buy Now,” and that was just Tuesday, and this is Thursday, and I have new pens. Then I opened and wadded a piece of junk mail addressed to the previous occupant of the house I refer to as “mine,” or “mine and the bank’s,” all the while knowing that this life is a dream and everything I know of it will fade. I stack the papers and lean the cardboard and angle the leaved branches, and teepee the larger pieces of wood that I offer to the Harvest Moon. Once the fire has a life of its own, I toss a half-used bundle of white sage into the hottest part, at least seven or eight smudges left in it, but I have two more bundles, and who says only the insides need cleansing, besides it always sets off the smoke alarm, and it is a Harvest Moon after all, and there should be an offering. And the fire grows, and the smoke seeps into the fabric of my jacket, and from my seat, I can see the fire, and just above it, the house, and just above that, the moon. And I contemplate the prayer I wish to give to the neon sky, to the only thing I know that has seen all of it. And I say these words to the closest part I can see of God, the satellite of each soul and season, the grandmother moon of me and my mother and her mother and her mother, “Please, heal my nation.” © 2020 Deborah E. Moore, All Rights Reserved
My people called it the bone moon.
A time of hunger.
A time of hope.
Life at the barest essential.
Black bear skin hugged tight around the shoulders.
Snow falling in clouds from shaken cedar boughs.
Woodsmoke curling up from the council house chimney.
Starvation like a penance and a prayer.
I meditate in warmth on this full moon in Leo.
I have a full belly.
Agarbatti smoke curls up from the altar with the
smell of a Hindu temple.
I do not know the council house
or the bear blanket
or the starvation.
But I know the hunger.
I know the hope.
© 2017 Deborah E. Moore
I’ve been a new moon of late — present, rejuvenating, and yet devoid of light. It’s as if the universe had lined up the stars in just a way to pull the plug, and the best I could do was to watch my imagination, inspiration, and focus swirl away down the drain.
If you watch astrology the way I do, then you know that there are all kinds of interesting things happening in the sky right now. Crosses, squares, interesting alignments. I know just enough to know that the heavens reflect the happenings on this planet with amazing accuracy. We are indeed part of a web, or perhaps many webs, both macro and micro. When a string gets tugged by Saturn, we feel the pull. When lines get crossed, we knot up. When a meteor shower skips over the grid, we can hear the music of the celestial harp. Of course, you have to listen very carefully.
I am intrigued by it all, but it is the moon that most often captures my imagination. I ebb and flow in huge shifts of light and darkness just like our constantly hovering lunar mother. And, of late, I’ve been a little too waning crescent for comfort.
Last night I stood out under my favorite moon, the waxing gibbous. I know that might seem a little strange. Isn’t everyone’s favorite the full moon? A full and glorious, round and pregnant moon is the muse of poets. It is the altar of nature worshippers. It is the author of crazy nights for emergency room physicians. Although this opportunity is rare in an urban world, try to find a dark wood on a full moon night and you will be truly amazed at how brilliantly lit the nocturnal world can be. But the yang to the yin of a full moon is that there is nowhere to go from here except backwards. The shadow will slowly creep back in until the moon mother sleeps again in her renewing.
Ah, but a waxing gibbous is full of promise. It seems to say, “Here I come. I’m bringing back the light.” I want to do things under a waxing gibbous. I want to write and sing and dance and create. I want to paint pictures, which is truly strange because I really, really can’t do that at all. Under the waxing gibbous I feel potential swell up within me. I love the promise moon. It brings me back.