Sunday, February 15, 2009

On A Night Last Week

Was I really supposed to sleep? With a moon like that one dangling up in the sky above my window? A moon that sang out to me in a silver aria from behind a wispy veil of winter cloud that draped across its face like the tissue-thin lampshade of a glowing Chinese lantern. This moon lantern that radiated a cool light, that illuminated every surface of my room as if midday in a ghostly story of old. Was I really supposed to pull the covers up under my chin, fold my hands, close my eyes? Not to get up and sit in the window seat to watch? If so, I should have missed seeing the shadows dance a graceful ballet around the poplar trees. Missed hearing the mockingbird as he eerily sang half a stanza of his favourite tune before realizing he’d been fooled by this trickster of a moon into believing the dawn had come early. I would not have noticed the cavernous quiet that dwelt underneath this abalone moon, an absence of sound found only deep inside the dead of a moonlit night. Oh no, I had to be a witness to this moon this night. Had to sit enraptured beneath his gaze and confide a few tiny secrets to him alone, and eventually to drift away to sleep, grateful he was keeping watch.

In all of spangled space, but I
To stare moon-struck into the sky;
Of billion beings I alone
To praise the Moon as still as stone.

And seal a bond between us two,
Closer than mortal ever knew;
For as mute masses I intone
The Moon is mine and mine alone.

From the poem Moon-Lover by Robert Service