Saturday, August 10, 2013

Moon, Blue and Not Blue

Who has seen the moon tonight?
— a sharpened sickle, a scythe to fell the long grasses in the abandoned barnyard.
— a scar on my palm, a deep gash from a fall at a young age.
— rind, orange peel, lemon wedge, and all the pulp toothed-out.
— the petal's edge, the color bled.

But before this gloaming, I sat at the bar at The Blue Moon Tavern in Seattle, and drank a toast with a stranger to poet Theodore Roethke, whose portrait hangs over the pool table.

In this exploration and discovery that I engage in while blogging, I came across the short film about Roethke and The Blue Moon:
And I'm cast into my own blueness-moonness tonight because poetry taps down into the deepest most unreachable parts of me, and is a danger for the power it wields over me, and for the raw edge of truth that surges when I'm under its spell.


  1. I looked up at the sickle moon last night, too, T - her light at once radiating and contained. I thought of you and, as happens, came inside and penciled Theodore Roethke's name onto my 'include these lines, this poem, this image' page (preparations for a talk at uni this week on the arts as agents for peace).

    One of Poetry's infinite gifts is - as you have said here - the way it 'taps down into the deepest most unreachable parts' of us. This morning I listened to Pema Chodron speaking into the subject of fear (and its antidotes*, kindness and gentleness to self and others), her encouragements to develop our capacity for stepping ever more into 'groundlessness'. It certainly seems we are all in some-or-other process of having to 'interrupt the momentum' of the old paradigm; a humbling, courage-building business. 'Relaxing into unknowing' is no easy task!

    Roethke says the same things in many - and different - ways. 'In dark times the eye begins to see. . . '

    Love to you, C xo

    PS. I wonder about the word 'antidote' and its dictionary definition, too. I wonder what alternative there is (how to shift 'anti-' speech to 'pro-'? (Pro-peace instead of anti-war. Pro-gender equality instead of anti-gender inequality, etc. . . If an antidote is something that brings positive balm and balance into a negative situation, shouldn't we be calling it a 'prodote?) x

    antidote |ˈantɪdəʊt|
    a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.
    • something that counteracts an unpleasant feeling or situation: laughter is a good antidote to stress.
    antidotal adjective
    ORIGIN late Middle English: via Latin, from Greek antidoton, neuter of antidotos ‘given against’, from anti- ‘against’ + didonai ‘give’.

    1. My dear Claire,

      It's no surprise, really, that Roethke appeared in each our consciousnesses on the same evening. In fact, on my way to The Blue Moon, those very lines that you've quoted here were repeating themselves in my head.

      And Pema Chodron! I've listened to some of the pieces you sent me, the rest are queued up for a some listening time.

      The "anti" issue reminds me, a few years back, when a lot of people here in the US had bumper stickers that said "Support Our Troops", usually people more conservative in their political stance. The assumption seemed to be that if you didn't sport one of these, then you weren't in support of the troops, which is hogwash.

      A linguistic conundrum, the anti- and the pro-, and how diction gets manipulated.