Moon Gathering

Eleanor Wilner

 
And they will gather by the well,
its dark water a mirror to catch whatever
stars slide by in the slow precession of
the skies, the tilting dome of time,
over all, a light mist like a scrim,
and here and there some clouds
that will open at the last and let
the moon shine through; it will be
at the wheel's turning, when
three zeros stand like paw-prints
in the snow; it will be a crescent
moon, and it will shine up from
the dark water like a silver hook
without a fish--until, as we lean closer,
swimming up from the well, something
dark but glowing, animate, like live coals--
it is our own eyes staring up at us,
as the moon sets its hook;
and they, whose dim shapes are no more
than what we will become, take up
their long-handled dippers
of brass, and one by one, they catch
the moon in the cup-shaped bowls,
and they raise its floating light
to their lips, and with it, they drink back
our eyes, burning with desire to see
into the gullet of night: each one
dips and drinks, and dips, and drinks,
until there is only dark water,
until there is only the dark.
 
From The Girl with Bees in Her Hair by Eleanor Rand Wilner. Copyright © 2004 by Eleanor Rand Wilner. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org. All rights reserved.

Further Reading

Poems About Outer Space
A Clear Midnight
by Walt Whitman
Back Yard
by Carl Sandburg
Bright Star
by John Keats
Comet Hyakutake
by Arthur Sze
I'm Over the Moon
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Let Evening Come
by Jane Kenyon
Mars Poetica
by Wyn Cooper
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck (Sonnet 14)
by William Shakespeare
Now that no one looking
by Adam Kirsch
Orion
by Susan Gevirtz
She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
Sky
by Anzhelina Polonskaya
Skylab
by Rolf Jacobsen
Star Quilt
by Roberta J. Hill
Starlight
by William Meredith
The Falling Star
by Sara Teasdale
The Star
by Jane Taylor
The Truth About Northern Lights
by Christine Hume
To the Moon [fragment]
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Yellow Stars and Ice
by Susan Stewart