Stuck or Chuck?

Two poems for your this Sunday Weekly Poem edition. It’s been an interesting week to say in the least. The first poem was actually written in the aftermath of the full moon last Sunday. Because we have had a relatively clear sky at night, even the waning moon’s light has been filtering through the bedroom curtains. The second poem is really a meditation on a few telephone conversations and a social media comment. Once you do the whole feng shui, clearing out and giving away thing, why do you not feel better? What do you do with that void? Which really was a good question, an existential one that has universal application even. Off and on during the week I was in bed batting back a virus, sleeping and dreaming, and sweating physically and metaphorically. Also watching the breakneck speed of breaking news.

Sandwiched in between was a day spent in the prison’s Education Centre with a few heroes who do not recognise their own heroic status, but who did ponder, discuss, and explore in writing these heroic attributes: integrity, humanity, individuality, dedication, selflessness, freedom, happiness, companionship, loyalty, as well as the distinction between bravery and courage. It can be lonely being a hero, but they know that heroes need allies.

First, the October moon, aka The Hunter’s Moon or The Dying Moon. A quotation was another seed.

Birth and death are the most surreal events in life, and everything in between is collage, too.

Lucy Ellman
The Dying Moon

Her rays blaze out,
permeating the curtains drawn
to shut in the dark.

This is when the year dies,
when the year is at its most surreal.

She's going out
in Grandstand style
any old hunter could
pick off so
easily.

Flaunting Her light
before she wanes into
"Good Night"
"Farewell"
pondering
Her right

to be reborn
every month
but
as this year dies

at some point
on another
surreal axis

the hinges will again
creak and moan
give out a wail

it begins
as it ends
foliage bursting forth,
then falling, falling...
naked at each pole point

but inbetween
the foliage
where everything
is collage,
nothing decided,
just patched,
and pieced.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved

A telephone conversation early this week led to my characterising 2019 as the year of ‘Stuck or Chuck”, which may account for the popularity of the Marie Kondo Netflix series. If we can just get organised, if we can achieve some order, if we can just be tidy…perhaps we can stem the tide of insanity of anxiety…maybe. But what happens if none of that happens?

Empty

All year
the paper mounted up and up
beseeching action...except... the final piece..
or maybe two or three...but not many..

left it languishing in paper prison,
incarcerated with no fixed term date
to look forwards towards. Or...

THE DEADLINE!

though this, too, can alter...those sticking points...

When you clean house, just try to chuck the box
propping the bed's leg up. You're in for a
collapse of more than dreams.

Is it a trap?

Chucking the baby, bassinette, water,
carving out a void, a hollow hiding
in wide open, inviting existence to
swallow.

To feel full on air instead of
stuffing, stuffing, stuffing mouths and houses,
filling, filling, filling the empty space.

And we watch Marie Kondo looking for
how to fold our fitted bed sheets on faith.
That the planet will not go down under
landfill or rising water or plastic

along with the bed and its wobbly leg,
the box holding it all up exploding
random contents, thoughts, our own nostalgia.
Our dreams.

Empty feels uncomfortable.
It is weightless. The moorings have slipped off.

Drifting in an expanse . Which may kill you.
Don't just tread water. Go learn how to swim.
Don't just space walk. Become an astronaut.

It's not good enough
a life staying stuck.
It's not good enough
to give everything
the chuck.

Or to predicate happiness
on satisfaction with your brimming plate,
a life full of love, with no tastes to hate,
guzzling fossil fuel, put our guts on fire
But still we want more
even if we all expire.

The empty space. Where once a box was placed.
It is white noise in symphany.
(Clap! Clap!)

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved

Featured image  Photo by Philipp Berndt on Unsplash 
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Sunflower Moon

Native Americans and First Nations Peoples give each full moon a descriptive name. It is what is supposed to be happening in the natural world during that lunation and the full moon spotlights it. Some call this the Barley Moon since that grain harvest coincides with the August full moon. Sturgeon Moon is appropriate for the Pacific Northwest, but here in my corner of Ireland Sunflower Moon is more appropriate. The prompt from #30DaysOfSummerWritingChallenge is ‘Lion’s Den’, but all the various solar associations came tumbling out. The astrological sign of Leo is ruled by the sun. So the zodiac’s Lion recalls all manner of potential subjects- royality, gold, drama , lion heart and Cowardly Lion. Since the full moon was only yesterday and is still bright, I decided that the Poetry Daily needed to celebrate the Sunflower Moon.

As a side note. this month has had loads of solar flares. Apparently, at least according to astrologer Pam Gregory, these can either knock you out or make you buzzy. I am on the knocked out end of the spectrum. But my dreams are more vivid than usual. So I kept the writing practice short and sweet this morning.

Sunflower Moon

The blackberries aren't ripe yet,
the bilberries nearly all gone.
This full moon the sunflowers stand erect,
even as the rain pounds down.
The meteor showers have shot past.
The solar flares wear me out.
The sunflowers still stand proud,
their spiral smiles encourage us
to be of stout heart.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Summer Solstice Full Moon

We have this unusual circumstance of experiencing a full moon very close to the longest day of the year on June 21st. Up here where I live the light is long into the night. Living without light polution from electrical street lighting, the full moon makes a holy show of herself every month, so long as we don’t have cloud cover. I have been waking at intervals to see both moonshine adn very early light. Even around 2:30 am it is not full dark. You can still see the outlines of trees and buildings. With the moonlight and no cloud we shall just have a a lot of twilight. Which is betwixt and between time. So it seemed wise to write a wee poem celebrating the Good People, aka the Other Crowd,or just as The Fey Ones. You know! Fairies!

The June Full Moon is sometimes known as the Mead Moon, Strawberry Moon or Honey Moon (yes, June has always been a popular wedding month, but it might also refer to all those old time Bealtaine Hand Fastings on May Day. It’s the early days of a marriage.)

Mead Moon

What will the long light illuminate,
sun and moon at full wattage demonstrate?
Will the dark corners be all honey sweet?
Or strawberry juicy? Mead moon's special treat,
the yin and the yang are fully switched on,
partying hearty right through and past dawn.
Spare a thought for the Wee People. Leave some
favours - a thimble f mead, some cake crumbs/
A good time for feasting. Be neighbourly.
The bright moon and long daylight is surely
a recipe for a cottage ceilí.
When this world and the other can shake hands,
sing, dance and cuddle in the borderlands.



Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

The Chaste Moon

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that the March Full Moon, which arrived at 1:42 am this morning my local time, is known by many names. Indigenous people have called it Storm Moon, but it is also known as the Worm moon and the Chaste Moon. This was also the last of a triiumverate of Supermoons, where the full moon is seen as super close to the earth. Where I live in Ireland each of those nights has been shrouded in cloud cover.

But this,in itself was very beautiful. The Old Dog had a restless night, which meant my sleep has been broken. I gave up all pretense of getting back to sleep before dawn. I also realised that this was the first time in a long while that I was writing the Poetry Daily in darkness, the holy hours before dawn known as the amrit vela. I checked back last year and found that the full moon seems to disrupt my sleep pattern and make it more likely for me to writing in those ambrosial hours. https://sojourningsmith.blog/2018/11/21/ambrosial-hours/.

But less historical rumination and down to the daily poem, inspired by the ghostly twilight that fell over the landscape at full moon.

The Chaste Moon

When moonlight lies like a mist
upon a wetland drenched
in ghostly twilight,
there is a restless pulse
beyond the clouded veil.
It casts a milky caul.

This chaste moon delivers
the gift of sight
as it gently beams through
a scrim of bridal tuille,
chiffon and voile that's laced
across the night skyline.

Is that why they call this
the Chaste Moon?
A virgin is called.
An angel is announced.
She's made a mother
by Lady Day.

The full moon is making
Her Magnificat.
The egg is laid.
The seed is sown.
What all could hope
is now set to be born.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.