Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Light Of The Moon

When the moon rises, it clings to the horizon for a few minutes, the horizontal clouds glowing with a pregnant light, giving off cold rays, blue, white, rouge, and the shape of the moon, like the yolk of a just-cracked egg, bleeds out beyond those clouds, slowly coming together as it rises, becoming more circular, and, if a day or two beyond fullness, a tiny chip off the corner may be visible, a chip which causes you to doubt its roundness, its simplicity, and replaces the childlike circle with a more complicated and real planet - a planet that exists not by itself, but in a community of planets, each receiving light, each casting shadow, light that may never reach another planet's surface, though it may travel for more years than the earth has existed, and shadow, complementing the light, which, ironically, does tend to disappear as long as the diameter of the casting object is less than the light source, for the annulus of a perfect eclipse grows with the distance from the light source until the obscuring object is subsumed in the penumbra of the light emanating source, which could be a star, a glowing gas cloud, a comet, an exploding or imploding mass, or cold light, invisible to human eyes but not to our sensitive electronic senses - shadows of all different sizes cast not only by the Earth, the Moon itself, countless rocks and ice clouds and the mountains of the moon themselves, their shadows lengthening in a month-long cycle, and so more slowly lengthening, but, as the crags reach high of the flat maria, the shadows stand distinctly defined in the airless world, blurred only by our remoteness and our atmosphere, and the craters like frozen circular waves of water, with a peak in the center, intersect each other, which we can see, so many miles distant, as patterns of rings, not nice, evenly shaped patterns, but splattered patterns such as one sees in the first few minutes of rain on a sidewalk or a birdbath, the craters, which , if measured precisely, tell of basoliths below the surface of the moon, remnants of the original meteors which struck the still liquid mass, absorbed in the crust, but not deeply, rather, they too, flowing into the crust in the way the moon itself will flow into the horizon after it completes its transit, first caressing the edge of light with its limbs, bending in the refractive air and spreading again behind the clouds of dawn, one body retiring and ceding its reign in an orderly fashion, to the other, which itself is the sole source of the inert sphere's luminosity, pale, a gray that seems blue, visible on a cold night, where you can read about the color of the moon by its very light, in a line that goes from the center of the sun, past the earth, to the moon, through the atmosphere and down to the page, where the ray makes its way to your eye, sensitive to such subtle light and deducing the similarly subtle shadow.

1 comment:

Jhhl said...

Just a quick not to say I read this briefly at the Colony Cafe's in Woodstock open mic night on Monday, January 24, 2005, on an evening where my wife Nancy Graham was one of the featured readers!