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.
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.
Mostly I have been filling the creativity well this month. Sometimes you know something is not ready. You need time to pray at holy wells. Or stare at the birds perching in the sunflowers outside your window. To ponder locked room mysteries and the people inside them. To watch and gather one’s strength for a renewal, or a beginning.
As a child I was a piano scholar, and not a terribly gifted one. Essential piano practice came in the form of a book titled Etudes. They were five finger exercises to limber up the fingers, to get you stoked for the ivory so to speak.
I welcome autumn, the nights drawing in, the soulful click of knitting needles in the evening. It heralds the richest vein for writing. Like mushrooms that have had to follow the long, underground tracks before they can emerge, finally the words begin to pop up and patterns discerned. But start the practice, as Miss Mildred instructed, with the etudes.
Out on our lane one September morning
A humming in the distance
Coming from the south – probably
(But sound carries in odd ways in the country
The wind can play hard and fast)
A bee swarm
Of human speech
Rising and falling
Babel bearing down
All at once
A sound not unlike
Once heard outside a Stamford Hill Hassidic synagogue
Where inside the men
Daven at their prayers
Inexorably moving towards me
Coming down the lane
Shaded by its shaggy hedges
A huddle of helmets
A lycra clad choir
As pedals creaked, gears moaned
An all male
Tenor Baritone Bass
Over each other
One broke ranks vocally
Not missing a beat
(Also, the day –
How it was good
For drying the washing -)
A throw away line
Fluttering to my feet
The peloton rolled past
Uphill and not so fast
Pegged to the washing line
Copyright 2018 Bee Smith