Harvest Moon 2020

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,
heal my nation.” 

© 2020 Deborah E. Moore, All Rights Reserved

Bone Moon

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

The Promise Moon

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.