The Sunday Weekly poetry post coincides with the third eclipse in thirty days. We had a full moon lunar eclipse on 5th June. Then came the solar eclipse that coincided with Summer Solstice. Then the very rare third eclipse within thirty days. Eclipses generally only come in pairs. We will have to wait another eight years before we see the triple eclipse in a month phenonmena.
I am still doing practice runs on Zoom, figuring out how I want to format creative writing Zoom worshops online with my band of volunteers. Yesterday’s exercise involved some rapid associations with the word eclipse. Other than the astronomical and ornithological definitions, it is also used in comparisons to say X has surpassed Y somehow. Also, “to obscure the light.” I asked the usual six questions of what, where, who, when, why and how light is or can be obscured. Then…go!
My own in class cogitations resulted in this word doodle that concentrated on the Lilith – Adam- Eve triangle. I always characterise lunar eclipses as being Lilith kinds of events. Because she was said to like to be on top, which led to a very stormy marital bed with Adam.
Eclipsed The sun and moon collide. The full moon rides the sun like a witch astride her besom. Lilith left Adam in the shade. Eve found the desire to know had a bewitching, heady perfume. Eve stayed with Adam in shadow. Paradise - delayed.
This stormy morning that alternates between heavy rain showers and brief bursts of sunshine, I had another stab at the theme. Wallace Steven’s sublime 13 Ways to Look at a Blackbird always feels like a suitable poem to read on the Sabbath. That is a masterful poem, but also a useful reminder to look at a subject from as many angles as possible. This morning I managed eight.
Eight Ways to Watch An Eclipse 1. Two lovers astride, ride out the night, extinguishing each other's light. Sun. Moon. Wonder. 2. The blinds drawn to shut out the cold night. Also, the heat, the glare of too harsh daylight. 3. The closed door at the end of the dark corridor. The muffled shouts. The shove. The fall. The doubts. 4. A small girl struck dumb, undone, the less favoured one sucking her thumb. 5. The costume - a mask, a cloak worn with dagger drawn beneath its folds. All is shadow. 6. Silhouette - the inch of light seeping from under the door ahead. What can we expect? 7. The pitch spread repairing the holes in the road. Look how green shoots so soon poke through, embed. 8. Let it fall! All his beautiful plumage show, the feathers on the floor before a new world, in embryo, can grow. Copyright ©Bee Smith, 2020. All rights reserved.
NB: Never look directly at a solar eclipse. It can cause severe visual impairment or blindness.