I saw in the paper that the moon would transit Saturn
on a particular night at about four in the morning.
I had a vision of the great ringed planet passing –
setting like a movie poster vision – slowly behind the moon.
This is my illusion.
Now I believe I walk beneath my stars.
I believe the moon is shining through my woods
And through limbs, Saturn and Jupiter, my friends.
The wind has ceased and smells are close,
as close as quiet in my woods now lit only by the moon.
My friends the dogs, oblivious to my quiet woods, my stars
and ages of needy, random reflection and misdirection
are my companions on this short journey, this illusion,
I believe, and share their own with me.
One New Years Eve not quite midnight I described to Elizabeth
the transit of Saturn by my moon on that peculiar night:
how the Great Ringed Ball of Gas empostered never appeared,
how the simple, planetary light and friend to dogs
passed irreconcilably behind the dark rim
of the mountains on the edge of the moon;
that the light reflected back, directly to my perfect eyes
had been created hours before in the energy of the sun
and spun off, there and back, and different light
on its own sweet time had spun my vision of the moon.
Beneath my stars, my moon whose edge
on the limbs where it rests is sharp,
I walk in the rhythm of my moon, the stars, my woods,
my moon, my illusion.
Inevitably this night reflected from Elizabeth's different light
now spins my limbs, my dogs, my moon itself,
the message, her message delivered toneless,
in transit of her shadowed despair.
Between 2001, 2002, some egg nog, and my vanity,
I ratcheted on ... how the moon and planets' motion
generate a personal sound
as the swirling silver gas and dusty rings,
reflecting light from the sun would
approach and disappear behind the limned moon --
my great and ringèd ball of gas
just a simple point of light, now there,
now not, disappearing, reappearing somewhere all the time.
Now reflecting this poor light on my friend
Elizabeth's quiet hopes last New Year's Eve,
comes this particular moon in these particular woods tonight
no less momentous than a disappearing point of light
or Elizabeth's realized despair
or my dark wander, pointless, here in the woods,
reflected to the open sky, with dogs and snow and failing sight
tangled amongst Great Gas Balls reflecting an invisible sun.
April 8, 2002