in the moonlight, with the new-fallen snow
the temperate forest is magic, a place of wonder.
it shows a different forest persona from that you see
on moonless nights when the dark green trees and black soil merge
into conspiratorial silence, a black hole
that fills the whole world save
the tiny golden ring of shadows
around the community fire pit. you wonder:
how did humans live before they learned to tame fire?

you watch the snowflakes land and melt on your outstretched arms
the glistening of crystals into water in the cold white light.
only a god could reveal such truths that, in her absence,
could not be seen or sensed, or even imagined. for
in her absence, at nightfall, the whole world falls away,
ceases, collapses into the endless blackness,
until it is reassembled at dawn by the sun god.

you stop to pick some berries and some nuts, and suddenly
you are surrounded by three children
who have sneaked out into the night, laughing
at first under their breath and now, out loud as they tag you
and turn to run away. You wait before turning to chase them
but with the brightness of the moon
and the smell of the sweat of joyous exhilaration on their bodies
they are easy to track, and you pretend at first you cannot see them,
cannot hear their stifled giggles in the shadows, and then you rush towards them
and call them out to share the food you’ve gathered.

they eat, and then, mimicking you, wander out to gather more.
the older boy and the girl do so with caution: they have smelled and studied
what you picked, and select only the foods you have made them familiar with,
but the younger boy is reckless, plunging deeper into the forest
and returning with lovely-coloured poisons.
you cuff him, and throw away his gift, and he cries, not understanding,
but soon he catches on
and joins in the hunt for walnuts, wild cherries, currants, chestnuts, pears.

the children curl up together and fall back asleep.

you walk sure-footed, able to see and choose where your steps land.
besides, this pathway, which winds around the perimeter of your community
is familiar to you, it is your home and you could walk it blind.
the cold is energizing. you choose, even in winter,
to avoid wrapping yourself in the animal skins
that others wear to ward off cold.
the skins impede your mobility, dull your senses, and you think
their presence offends the erotic goddess of the moon,
who wants to see you naked, aroused, with her sly smile.

your walk becomes a dance as the sound of the wind in the trees
and the owls and other creatures of the night becomes your music,
a music of the spheres and of the universe,
embellished by a counterpoint you create inside your head,
expressing the elation of being here, now, in this moment.

your trip ’round the periphery of your home community takes half the night
and as the warm glow of the fire pit comes again into view
you see reflected by the firelight the glow of two eyes
emerging from the communal shelter, and the arms of J.
the newest member to pass the rites of adulthood beckon you.
J.’s arms surround you in the fire glow and you are pulled down
drawn into J.’s sleepy passion, and you mate,
slowly, lazily, and then again, whispering, laughing.
J.’s love is so boundless, so profound that you might feel jealous
of others in the community, younger and faster than you,
but there is no need:
J. is generous with love, and gives it without limit or condition.

and as the first red-violet and lilac bands of dawn emerge on the horizon
you think about your young friend T., who was so healthy, so vibrant,
but who one day was clawed by a wildcat.
the licking of wounds and the balms and medicines
of the wise ones in the community did not help,
so T., feverish, walked away, to be alone, to face the gods
and mortality, and never returned.
why were you, older, slower, less agile, with a full life behind you
not picked by the cat instead of T.?
there is no explaining this.

you sleep, caressed by J., and dream of the darkness.
you dream at first of strange and fearsome things: a fire that tames man,
a community upside down
where people are in the service of the dead, of lifeless things,
a world where people hurt and imprison other people.
and then the dreams turn into vibrant colour, and grow warm,
and you meet the moon goddess and the sun god
and the gods of the animals who explain the world to you
but in a language you cannot understand.
but they tell you
not to be concerned, just to be, and to be yourself,
to trust your instincts, and to honour all life on Earth as sacred
and the gods and the world will look after each other.

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2 Responses to moonstruck

  1. I am really moved by this poem.You are a evolved poet that can make a message vibrational and therefore provides a universal message for all of us. Well Done DaveBest,_michael

  2. Dave – The beauty of truth is clear in this absolutely beautiful poem you wrote.

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