A lunar life
I wake at three with the half-moon bathing my face.
I turn to it full-eyed, expectant, waiting
for its pale light to fill me
with some new power.
When I was a boy I played with its light on my pillow,
pressing out dark valleys with my fingers,
pushing up great hills for its light to fall
and divide into rivers.
Now I am old and it plays me—for a fool.
And still I wait for its breathy light to blow
across these blue-white coals of desire,
We’ve been staying at the cabin for the weekend. It’s been grey and snowing but last night it cleared and the air went brittle and shimmery, and the moon, even at half strength, lit up the trees, and the bush became an encyclopaedia of shadows. It was all so beautiful. And yet, in the middle of the night a heavy sadness about aging kept me wide awake and finally spilled me out of bed. And then this poem came, rather quickly, and I wrote it down. This, and the fire in the wood stove, and the shifting light in the trees, put me at ease.