Poetry: Night of the Seventh Moon

Posted: September 27, 2014 in

The moon is like a crystal ball,
but it doesn’t know everything.

It is the night of the seventh moon.
Grays and shades of white
blend and overflow its rim.
Crystalline vapors swirl pensive,
while sounds of gypsies move in unison, within
a circle.

I have often watched them dance within
spikes shaped like a sphere,
in a wilderness illuminated beneath mystical orbs.
I have watched them in them in the clearing.
And then,memories hearken me, a lad of fifteen.

Another night of the seventh moon,
when elders in the village say evil lurks
inside the moon. Black robed clerics
send out pleas to the congregation.
Men, women, and children obey, yet
no one comprehends.

And then, it will be a long night of religious discussion.

Pastor Ebenezer, the elder, stands
with clasped fingers and prays a plea
of consternation. I think it is
a storytelling, yet it is not from pole to pole.

He orates and the populace listens.
It is the night of another seventh moon
another time; other narrators preach,
and say evil lurks, and the moon
holds a man inside until he’s insane;
Then he is released to wander the earth to practice evil.
He is known as a volatile controller;
everything beneath his gaze belongs to him.

Tonight, the image is more pronounced and controls
the tides, the times to plant crops, or so is told.
The image observes the universe and mortals
After his mystical change,
He is volatile controller, capable of causing insanity.
Everyone/everything beneath the moon belongs to him.

One night the image is more pronounced
and active, it paces with hands pressed
against the sides of his enclosure, as if
it were a thick pane of glass.

A neighbor passes by our abode,
dressed in hunting garb; atop his head, he wears
a red knitted cap and ventures forth–unafraid.
His voice calls back to his wife, Leanna:
“I’ll be home a’fore the fire needs wood.”
Papa, Mama, and I sit before
our own fire–safe, for evil is in the air.
Warmth from the fire is alive and comforts
with red and yellow sparks and floating
embers up the chimney.

And then memories hearken again a mere child of fifteen.

The wind blows frigid and paralyzes the face.
Hours pass and we watch from the window.
A knock raps at the door; eerie to the night.
Peeking though frosted panes,
I tell Mama it is the neighbor’s wife, Leanna
and she bids her entrance.

The woman, Leanna, is uneasy and pale as the snow
that covers the ground.
I see fear in her eyes,as she paces our oakwood floors,
room to room and wrings her hands in despair liken to madness.
Her leather shoes are glazed
in a mixture of black ice, and frozen slush.

Mama comforts her, to no avail, and shrugs.
Leanna departs, unconsolable and in fear
by her husband’s absence.
She turns to leave
and speaks with trembling, wringing of hands:
“He won’t return.”
Mama hugs her and and watches her departure.
Leannna slips through the snow, falls,
and rights herself to a crawl and stands.
In a daze, she rushes through the night toward her cabin.

Mama and Daddy retire and I hear
his vociferous snores, but he is home.
Restless soul, I slip on boots and snatch a lantern,
and an old telescope.
Eyes upward,I watch the moon, in all its brilliance.
The colors change to a darker, bleaker hue.
Watching, observant, I stand on the porch
holding vigal for the missing man.
Hallucination or imagination–I
see no difference, but shivers run
the gambit of my body, from neck to toes.

Memories of dancing gypsies haunt and
enter my mind when I look skyward.
They move fast and faster, almost a blur,
and came into view, but a doubtful mind knows
that gypsies can’t fly to the moon. I tread
through the snow and hear barking hunting dogs,
and trip over a fallen tree branch.
Falling through darkness,
I feel myself plummet deeper into a dark pit.
Invisible hands reach upward to claim me
into darkness,the lantern is lost in the snow.
Something, someone watches from above.

“Is anybody there, help me,” my voice
echoes. Hunting dogs are at the top,
and my fingers claw at reeking, rotted earth.
My assent is slow and I continue upward
toward the beasts and uncertainty.

At the top, their tongues lap at my face
and I cling to the warmth of them, as my eyes
look upward to the yellow moon.
Skies are clear and calm.
Clouds float past and I scramble in snow
to retrieve the lantern and telescope.
Putting the lens to my eyes, I squint
and see something that isn’t there.

Shivers envelop me in a painful caress,
as I envision two images in the moon. One looks
down upon me–two struggle and one falls,
unfamiliar, yet not.I cannot be certain.
With lens to eye, I squint, an image looks
down. I gasp. It is not–can not be true.
Hallucinations abound, yet my gaze fixates.

And then memories hearken, again.
The elders of the village, the clerics
are right.
A red capped image looks downward,
hands press against panes of the moon.
I remember the clerics, the elders, the words:
The moon controls and it is–

Again, it is the night of the seventh moon,
A long absence since the last.
Someone needs to make haste, to be forthright,
and tell Leanna:
Her husband won’t be home this night.

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