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CIRCLES OF THE MOON & Other Poems – MJM LaBare

on August 15 | in Poetry | by | with No Comments

To Alex, on turning two

Some say the Ring of Brogar
is the Circle of the Moon.
There is no proof.
Its stones stand
a mystery
of five millenia
on a length of land
lapped by freshwater
and by saltwater,
set in the songs
of skuas and shags
and the silent legacies
of ancient ceremonies–
likely akin
to what your daddy does
on East 70th Street
when at eventide
you direct
in single syllables:
“Roof!” and “Moon!” —
and up there
are lifted so
your rounded reach
extends forever
as you say,
“Hug the moon!
Hug the moon!”

BEFORE THEY ALMOST BROKE UP
 

They searched for lost or imagined riches:
the Lost Chinaman in Death Valley,
the Lost Chicken Craw in Nevada,
in Arizona, the Lost Dutchman
and the Lost Treasure of Cochise.
 

The sun bleached the air and them
and paled the life they’d left
behind on an urban isle.
 

The new green was
the dull color of a saguaro,
ribs flexible as whalebone,
hard enough to blunt
a keen blade.
 

Sunwashed, they aged,
watched shade grow long
and lure sleeping creatures
to life:
a jack rabbit
cooling through thin, huge ears,
a ‘roo rat pivoting in midair.
 

One night they near drowned
in the richness of light,
evening’s heat so sear
they could hear it.
Rays bent from one
airy layer to another.
Boulders shimmered
insubstantial.
Just breathing made
them thirsty.
 

When sandstorms and love
reduced visibility
to zero, erased
their separate footprints,
they learned to move through
shadows, watch silently
the vermillion sunset.
 

Thunderheads bit the sky,
lightning stabbed heaven
and earth,
but rain never came.
A breeze carried fragrances
of flowers never found.
 

From their last fire, sparks
lept from the saguaro skeleton
into the partial darkness.
Stars reigned, cast shadows.
There was no more wind.
Moisture condensed in
their close footprints –
seedlings could take root there
in the brittle peace.
 

They took pictures of the little pools
and of the ranger’s sign:
“Do Not Disturb
Petrified Wood.”

 

 

MJM LaBare is a poet and educator. She teaches at Bloomfield College, lives in Brooklyn, NY and travels extensively.

 

 

 

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