Twenty-Eight Faces of the Moon


Earth, sky, stillness.
The evening unfolds
the rorschach of the moon.


We'd come home late that night.
They'd gone to bed, left the lights on
in the kitchen. Outside,
in the half-light of the moon,
I watched the lights move up
with you, like a drifting ember,
kitchen to living room to where
your bedroom curtains flickered,
glowed and faded
into dreaming.


The shadow is bluest
when it is cast by the moon.


What lingers:
The press of her cheek
against my shoulder.
The smell of moonlight
in her hair.


Suddenly you are far away,
further than the moon.
Further still
than the reach of my
outstretched hand.


Slow and uncertain,
like a breath held
before a moment of touching,
the moon dissolves into moonlight.


In the shadows a man and a woman.
The moon smiles its dark conspiracy.


There was a time
you thought the moon
was an enormous balloon
caught in the clouds.
Arms outstretched, you chased it
across rivers and hills,
as if you were the one who had,
let go the string.


The cat stirs. Beside it,
on your lap, the moon
has fallen asleep.


The night spills over
from the dark side of the moon.


If I could roll up this sky,
moon and stars,
and spread it out the night
you come home.


I should say this to you
in moonlight,
when there is no such word
as no.


The sound of your bare feet
on the kitchen floor.
Be careful you don't
slip on the moon.


Two hundred and forty thousand miles
of kite-string.


Tonight, she wrote, the moon
was as full as that night
we met on the boardwalk.
I remember the wind
blowing the hair into my eyes.
As we talked I could hear
the creak of the boards each time
you shifted your feet.


August night.
The wind wraps itself around the moon.


The moon is cold tonight.
take me home.


Moon at my window,
these nights I dream
my father's dreams.
I wake up, and I am
someone else.


Moon, sky, earth, water.
Water, earth, sky, moon.


Clothesline's not quite empty.
Someone's forgotten to bring in
the moon.


In the water the moon's silver
scatters into emerald.


Moon as dim as my eyelids closing,
now you are as thin as the scythe-edge
of a shadow.


We parked the car by the knoll,
where we had the picnic last summer.
We got out and sat in front.
The moon haloed you. You laughed
when I said
you looked like a saint,
knocked my hat off and ran.


Your image
trembles in my heart,
the storm-tossed sea reflection
of a quiet moon.


When you will have
your hands crossed, thus,
over your chest, it will be
as if you were a blackbird
flying into the moon of your soul.


The moon curves into itself,
light into light.


Where the moon used to be,
there are not even any


In my dream I chart
my soul's geography:
sea of tranquility,
ocean of storms.


  1. I enjoyed each image of the moon you created here. I'm reminded of Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Was this the format you were using? Beautifully written. Have a great day.

  2. I like it when people catch my allusions. Yes, Wallace Stevens' 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' was a touchstone for this poem, as well as Dan Pagis' 'Twelve Faces of the Emerald'.

    In fact, I pay homage to both of these poems in my piece. I sometimes think of 'Moon' as intersecting their poems at the verses which reference 'blackbird' and 'emerald'.

  3. Beautiful! Oh how I love this!

  4. I see every single facet of the moon-as a mystery, as love, as angelic-as beautiful. This poem is absolutely breathtaking. Continue writing, poet. The world needs you. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. exquisite. liked every vignette, and the references/intersection. been thinking much in recent months how like a rorschach - moon and sky can be - reflecting moods and events both literary and lived. your poem also reminds me of a sage's garden, which can be designed to bring to mind an ancient poem, 4-character phrase, or desired virtue...and in which bamboo might be planted, & water channeled over rocks just so - to create a desired series of sounds. beautiful in multiple levels. your poetry just gets better and better. truly. hat's off to you. - (snowandstars)

  6. Beautiful. I think 4 & 8 are my favorites.

  7. Definitely one of my favorites of yours. Both blackbird and emerald caught my attention, and this is as good as either.... maybe better, depending on the eyes reading.

  8. Another one that has quickly become a favorite. Thanks, semaphore. :)

  9. It is not possible for me to choose a favorite among your poetry- or even a favorite among these 28 verses. In this poem you have managed to capture so many of the poetic voices that stir within you- and stir within us. So instead of trying to analysis and express the many moments of brilliance here, I will tell a story.

    I recall the first time I ever wrote a poem. Or perhaps more truly, the first time a poem arose within me. I was 7 or 8 years old and walking home from a house a mere 5 houses down the shore road from where I lived and I felt the uncontainable feeling of freedom ~ the overwhelming feeling of independence ~ the tantalizing feeling of fear ~ the invigorating feeling of being smaller yet larger than all existence- the miraculous feeling of knowing I was part of the all. I walked alone in the dusky evening and noticed the moon was following me.

    That moment was my first and always muse. It ignited my soul. And ever since I have been watching the Moon, waiting for that poem to finally be complete.

    But it will never be complete.

    That first poem will never be written, never be finished. It follows me still, the shadow of an idea that trails my steps evermore.

    It nags at me, the seed of an idea that will never be fully expressed.

    That is what it is to be a poet, I think.

  10. I always think, Samuel, that the next poem you write will not surprise me. I am wrong each and every time.

  11. Absolutely loved this. I was following you posting it on twitter had to come over and read it again, all together... beautiful.

  12. everything a writer should be. simply....poet eloquence.

  13. This is beautiful. Welcome to Tenth Daughter!

  14. Hi Samuel, this is Lisa from dVerse. Am basking in the moonglow from your 28 faces. I am about to post a troiku I wrote using your first face. I hope that is ok. If not please let me know.


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