All over the internet, people are talking about tonight’s eclipse and the “super blood wolf moon”.
Me? I’m just wondering how many adjectives you can reasonably put in front of the word moon, and what order should they go in.
I understand tonight’s full moon is close to perigree, so is what’s called a super moon. (Though so are the next two full moons. And, of the three, the one in February will be the superest.)
Tonight there’s also going to be an eclipse, so the earth’s shadow will darken the moon and make it look red, which is known as a blood moon.
And, finally, it’s January, which means the full moon is the wolf moon.
Of course the photo at the top is not tonight’s moon. I’m not sure what time the moon rises, but if the eclipse doesn’t start until 2:37am, I hope to be tucked up in bed and asleep long before it’s visible. I guess I should be up to see the tail end of it, weather permitting, but that will be too late for tonight’s blog post.
So I’m making do with some old full-moon photos. The top one is a corn moon, from 2016. The next is a worm moon from 2013 and finally, down below, there’s a strawberry moon from the same year.
Usually when I write about meteor showers, lunar eclipses and the like, I find a poem featuring stars or the moon. But tonight, as it’s a wolf moon, let’s think about the song of one of the wolf’s close relations, the coyote.
How coyotes sing
Long ago, we danced in the belly of the wolf-mother. In pulsing dark, we danced an ancient dance; in darkness together, brothers, sisters, cousins… gray and gold and red. We counted our steps to the beat of the bitch-wolf’s heart. Long ago, we danced in darkness, danced away and down through generations.
Born into the dark den, we cry,
worrying at our mother’s teats;
draggled and whimpering, we seek
the milk that frees our voices from the past.
On the prairie, we scream our story to the winds.
In the forest we weave our tales from tree to tree.
From the mountaintop we cast an echoing net –
yelp and yip and yowl – across the valley.
We laugh in the sunshine, we howl at the moon.
This is our land: we boast our past;
You are family: we declare our kin;
This is our land: we claim our future.
Before our birth, we danced.
We were born into the world to sing.