Tag Archives: lunar

Her Ethereal Light

Moonlight’s gown melted into the earth, its complex alchemy of the sky nourishing the green circulation of a sleeping country.  She was wrapped in the cold breath of stars and a turquoise swath of twilight – still warm with the memory of the sun in its low horizon lands.

A Final Goodbye

Light bloomed around her like a pale garden – and continued to grow, until it covered entire hemispheres, illuminating latitudes and longitudes.  Moonlight’s pretty dress reflected the galaxies she had left behind:  the radiant fabric was embroidered with their swirling travels, the distant clouds of shining planets.   

As she moved across the dark acres, the silvery fabric winked in the shadows. The gossamer train filled the spaces between the minutiae of the dusky world.  Moonlight progressed slowly, admiring her dress, as it flowed past mountains and fields in textile illumination.

She was so lovely, and wore her ethereal light like a veil that danced from her shoulders.  It filled the air with insubstantial color and rode through the atmosphere like a lush, metallic ocean.  Her footprints traced a luminous path, marking her progress as the evening grew dark and rich.  They filled with light, like shallow lakes, and the gentle waves nudged against the curved shores of dainty insteps.

Moonlight’s nacerous glow swept across the world with a chilly scintillation.  She moved slowly to take in her allotted hours: her lifetime of shadow.  She took the time to look into the sky, the blue clouds, her nocturnal birthplace. And with gratitude she stared into the face of the goddess who released her handmaiden nightly to announce her lunar presence and twilight’s soft departure.

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The Witches’ Sabbath

It is a lowering, disturbing sight – a vision that strides the jagged edge between art and illness.  Its cloven hooves balance on a precipice as it looks downward into a pit where reality and madness, swirling like cats, battle for superiority.  Casualties – science, reason, ignorance, insanity: every faculty of the human mind – lie discarded and untended on the killing fields.  Only fear remains:  the robust hunter that seeks the mind of both everyman and madman.

A sick crescent moon huddles in the corner.  It sinks into a twilight that melts into a horizon rippling with lavender and sapphire.  Alone and betrayed, the lunar refugee rides the blue columns of an empty, ominous sky, illuminating the inverted ceremony below.

Lunacy

This is Goya’s black dream:  a hallucination of bats dripping from the dusky hem of night…of barren, predatory hills that crouch like animals.   This is his heroic portrait of a masculine goat sitting amongst his witches, culled from the bare-foot peasantry of Spain.  His stunning horns, curled like a lyre are at the center of his vision, draw the eye to the eerie threat, the subdued terror, of the devil assuming an earthly creature’s shape.

The unwashed coven is hypnotized by the sight before them.  Their superstitions have knitted their ragged bodies together; their beliefs have brought to life the musty goat that gestures towards them, regal and dark.  The women offer him their children – but whether for sacrifice or for nourishment is unclear.   With expressions that are sloppy and unformed, they are united in a nightmare performed on an empty plain beneath a feverish, unsettled sky.

“The Witches’ Sabbath” is one of Goya’s ‘black paintings’:  canvases that begin with a layer of black, his “sleep of reason that produces monsters”.  Objects and ideas hide in these frightening works, their eyes glowing in the dark:  optic denizens that keep their logic confined and private.  Sometimes they venture into the light:  terrible thoughts round with illumination, standing alone in the middle of a sick drama.  Like disappointing births, these paintings achieve their twisted life out of darkness.

At first glance, the work resembles one of the silken garden parties of Watteau or Fragonard.  But instead of graceful couples with nothing but pastel secrets and delicate longings to occupy them, there is a circle of witches that lie in the dirt, their howls freezing the sky into a shuddering twilight.  There are no diamante trees, spangled with tears and sunlight.  The landscape instead is barren:  Nature’s sigh of hopelessness shrouding the charcoal-colored earth. Only the demon remains, smelling of sulphur and the barnyard, its horns swathed in vines of belladonna and nightshade. 

There is no Venus or even a benevolent Bacchus to watch over a prancing, flirtatious world.   There is no glossy, pretty life here.  And there is no god at all

The Waning Moon

One night, when the moon was heavy and full, its curiosity got the best of it.  It slowly lowered itself through sapphire clouds and rippling twilight…it shouldered its way past bristling stars, past their astronomical arrangements that made the sky a sparkling atlas.  Down these gilded maps it flew on its celestial quest.

It avoided the tangles of constellations, the frosted galaxies filled with light and planets.  It sank through sediments of discolored atmospheres and foreign gravities.  It was curious about the earth, for sometimes a satellite wants to look its owner in the face.

The far-off patterns of continents were intriguing:  the broken coastlines cutting into oceans, mountains lying as still as skeletons. For too long the moon had gazed on the distant countries and waters, longing to cool their exotic surfaces, to learn the sun’s warming trick.

But the moon was also reckless.  It swooped below the gray horizon, past cars and houses, closely above people – who, if they had only looked up, would have seen an amazing sight.  It then came upon a tree:  barren and cold, not yet softened by the year’s first crop of blossoms. The tree’s branches caught the moon, like a bright, luminous fish.  In the moon’s struggles, the branches pierced its sides, and sluices of light flowed down the trunk until the bark shone like a radiant ghost.

The light of the moon was broken into pieces as the tree balanced the unruly planet.  Like a cathedral window, the moon’s color was divided by a disruptive linear world.  Suffering in foreign atmospheres, it missed the populous heavens, the pure, glowing night.  In its loneliness, it felt the disapproving eye of its mother Diana, who – impatiently adjusting her ropes of stars and her illuminated crown – wondered what she would do with her lunar child.

Harnessed and still, the moon waited.  Losing its life’s blood of light, it grew smaller as it began to wane.  Eventually the tree loosened its grip…and the moon once again rose into the sky – a half, a quarter or maybe even a crescent of its former self.

A Night Swim

The moon has been in Pisces.  For several days it was a slim crescent, providing just enough light for the starry fish to swim in – breathing in the radiance, the austere, pale light.

The luminous curve did not lie on the left or right side of the capricious satellite.  It was on the bottom:   a drink that will become larger as the moon grows full and generous.  Pisces splashed in the glowing ocean as the astronomers waited, marking its orbit across the arid night sky. Like hooks, their numbers and equations would pull the fish from their tranquil sea, trapping them in a net thrown across the galaxy.

And when the mystic trawl drags them from the bright water they will lay gasping against the sky.  Stars and planets will swirl around fins and gills, edging against scales – glittering like a diamante skin.

The Sea is in the Sky

There was no bait that could lure the fish from the moon’s pretty shores.  They swam throughout the night until the moon became filled with light, forcing Pisces into the dry darkness.  Sprawled in constellations, the fish wait – for the waters to recede, giving them a chance to slip once more into the moon’s shining waves.

Lunacy

It is at this time of year, the final third, with the three-syllabeled months and early shadows that predict the quickening of its domain, that I feel its presence.  Like the tides that feel the pricking of silver hooks in their watery skins, I am pushed and pulled and reminded that now is the time.

During the warm months, it is a jealous, white shadow, hanging in the humid, seductive sky.  Its cold women, crescents dangling from their ears, stars melting into their hands, are content to wait.

Until now.  And the hooks in my skin tell me also that the wait is over.  The moon – call it hunter's, harvest, blood, corn, barley – has returned, its chilled ascendancy sharp and frosted in the evening sky.  It shines with a metallic light, a cloth of silver that charms the heavens so much that the nights become longer, so that the lively fabric could be enjoyed that much more.

When the equinox rides high in the sky, climbing the burnished galaxies, the harvests below emerge from the mothering earth and her erupted, buried seeds.  I can smell the flavors and colors in the hard, cold air.  I shiver with the wet, vermillion leaves, the early shadows and the piercing breezes, heavy with rain and living things.

I see an orange moon brushing darkened fields, a white moon chilling the constellations, a yellow moon that warms autumn's firmament.  Autumn carries in her arms the produce of busy populations, leaves that crackle like fire, grains that are woven into loaves of bread.  She wears bracelets and ropes of pearls, but only a single pearl rests on her brow – a symbol of her most perfect jewel.

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