First Strawberry II, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008 by
QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
June — every year she embraces Summer Solstice, holds the light in the palm of her hand. June is the month of bleeding hearts, peonies, strawberries and tea roses.
At Solstice, a friend pulled a necklace from around her neck and gently placed it on the birch fire; it was of green strawberry caps she had sewn together one by one. This morning at 7am, she is heading out to a Minnesota farm to pluck the last of this season’s strawberries.
I watched the Moon carefully in June, paid homage to the longer light of the Sun. I tried to stay present to the Moon’s many faces. Days she held her ground opposite the brighter, bolder Sun. (Why can we see the moon in the daytime?) Nights when moonlight was so bright, it woke me out of a dead sleep.
Yesterday morning, when I went to do June’s moonwriting, this poem came out. It was written stream of consciousness, like Writing Practice. I’ll call it a Practice Poem, a work in progress. I did only light editing, a few revisions. I don’t claim to be a poet. But some days poetry tugs at me, and something takes hold.
plucky June, Strawberry Moon
creeps through a slit in the blinds
2:30 a.m. (wake up call)
crawls in and out of my dreams
sandpaper white, curdling violet
unsure of what it means, I duck behind a cloud
rain pummels the peonies, silent dance between ant and bloom
wise beyond her years, the Moon doesn’t have to bother
with what she does or doesn’t understand
in the morning, sitting on cloistered heels
directly opposite the sun, 6-inch spikes in a medium sky
you’ll recognize her muted fire
solar light reflections, created for perfect balance
– human chaos and confusion
everyone hates each other, no one gets along
not even the Democrats can agree,
a handshake and a smile do not cover
old wounds and battle scars
the clean slice of a wrist before dawn.
No longer that desperate,
I used to be — hidden under dirty compost
of wormy black soil, the moon a lighthouse;
I must have seen something, a spark
inching past strips of cedar bark,
lawn clippings after the blade
the Algonquins didn’t question
her power, or rename her “rose”
red is the color of the June moon
as fierce as she is peaceful
don’t underestimate the stillness
moon when the berries are good
turning moon, full leaf moon
christening the strawberries, greening the leaves
ripening my summers
with things I have yet to know.
-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, July 5th, 2008
-related to posts: PRACTICE – Blossom Moon – 15min, winter haiku trilogy
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