Is there a poet in the land
who can resist that moon, those stars,
who is not sitting, pen in hand
recounting how love leaves her scars?
Enraptured by the moon’s bright light,
I, too, am writing poems tonight.
(Well, I was, some 15 years ago, which is when those lines originated as part of a tetrameter sonnet with heavy end stopping and extraordinarily unimaginative rhymes. The worst thing about learning more about poetry is that I try and write fewer bad poems and end up just writing less.)
Today is midsummer’s day, a fact that always confused me as a child: if June 21st was the first day of summer and the 24th was midsummer, did that mean it was all over on the 27th?
Actually, given British summers, it wasn’t that really all that confusing. Perhaps if I’d known then about the St John’s bonfires, I’d have thought it quite reasonable that you might need to light a fire to keep warm even in late June.
I dreamed of you last night and woke
to moonlight, sheet-tangled feet
cat-twisted and cold.
I drowsed again, through decades, slipped
between cities and crossed continents,
embracing and embraced,
now chasing and now chased,
no pause between the kisses passed
from partner on to partner
down through the yearning years.
I dreamed of you last night
and woke to moonlight.
(St John’s Eve – Midsummer Night – is celebrated across Spain with fire jumping in the street and general festivities. It’s supposed to be a time of powerful magic, and seemed a suitable title for this slightly chaotic dream poem.)