A Poem From My Full Moon Series

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Over the past several months I have written some poems that form part of a full moon series, and I would like to share one with you.  This series has taken me in some new and exciting directions.  I read this poem around the campfire at Unicamp on Labour Day weekend.

 

Where You Haunt

(Written during the Harvest Moon)

 By Helen Iacovino

long ago you decided
it had to be worth the journey,
long ago having chosen
what lights to carry with you & where
& what would be the places you would haunt.

you knew where your footsteps should take you,
& you knew what powers to call to you,
& you knew what beings to consider your friends.

now all long the constellations
with a moon by turns hidden & revealed
in a sky of amiable passing clouds,
the world tonight is as it always was –
some creatures living, others dead,
among new trees & old,
among waxing & waning blossoms
as the world approaches
the season of the crone.

now you walk to receive the gifts of this world,
& you live in broad strokes, ever going
forward through forest & shadow
with unknown companions
but on chosen & familiar roads.

by moonlight or lamplight,
it really doesn’t matter,
in darkness the world becomes more real
& shadows define themselves
into their true meaning.

your job is to discern shadow,
to delve into what’s not said,
to ride a wind that’s not there
& to imagine worlds into being.
your job, determined long ago,
is etched into the places that you haunt,
mirrored in your footsteps, outlined
with your breath on the night wind.

you walk, & the gifts come upon you,
you turn towards the darkening sky
& welcome the autumn winds closing in,
welcome the chariots of night.

darkness reveals a certain depth,
& the quiet grows deeper
& looks towards the longest nights,
where you know what the questions are
& how to find the searchlights
& gather the animal helpers
& call to the unbidden wind.

journeys ever beginning, never ending,
never an answer, always going deeper,
but that is the world you chose for yourself,
long ago, as a way to grow old,
ever asking the questions,
never settling on unsettled ground,
nor settling on solid ground,
knowing solid does not exist in this world,

when long ago you decided
it had to be worth the journey.

© Helen Iacovino

 

A Poem for the Lunar New Year

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It’s now already almost 2 weeks into the Year of the Fire Rooster/Phoenix, and we’re almost into the Snow Moon/lunar eclipse/comet.  Still thinking about the new beginnings that any new moon, and perhaps especially the one of the Lunar New Year, heralds for us, and the new moon as a time of incubation and introspection as well. Here is a Lunar New Year poem that I wrote a few years ago.

CHINESE NEW YEAR

by Helen Iacovino

from present & past lives,
from inner lives & second chances
the music drifts like snowfall
through a cat’s closed eyes & nine lives,
going into everything, going deep, exploring –
there’s something the cat sees or senses,
a crescendo building in the world –

now the time is ripe for waiting –
the new moon a sliver in the evening sky,
as from the west a new year approaches
carried on the moon’s back
where Coyote’s eyes shine through it –

there is something the cat
knows but will not tell us.

incubating, holding back,
the waiting boat
drifts on the river,
gathering its energies,
seeking the right currents,
for the sleeping cat at daybreak,
for Coyote’s signal to the world.

something stirs in the west, a river, a cloudbreak,
something settles, a door
closes while nobody sees it,
as the old leaves of last autumn
swirl in a final eddy
across the day’s fresh snow.

© Helen Iacovino

First published in Trust the Dawning Future, a poetry chapbook published by the Canadian Unitarian Council

 

 

Tarot Poem – #18 – The Moon

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Here are two more Tarot poems that I wrote, in two posts, with images from the Barbara Walker deck which I love. The Moon and The Sun are companion pieces.

Another one is coming tomorrow – probably – once the New Year has turned over and it’s officially 2016 here…. Happy New Year!
XVIII
THE MOON — SEARCH THROUGH DARK WATERS

by Helen Iacovino

I am the lizard
           breaking the golden cage

I
Long enough I have crawled
through the mud of my pool–
now I surface slowly
through murky green layers
towards the flickering light that swims
in a dark sea of sky.

The moon ripples in the water,
enchanting the waves with light,
so bright on the bank’s grass,
so dim down here.
There plants grow straight & green,
here the slimy seaweed drapes
round me, so hard to shake off.

Mighty moon, I’ll reach you:
I think I am a creature
whose gills were designed for land.
I’ve glimpsed there’s more
than this endless wet,
& now I cannot sleep.

I wish I were a tadpole
who knows
his destiny.

II
Beside her wheel
Fortuna cries,
“Your aspirations
are born of lies,
you guess your nature
from the shape you see
in the carnival mirror
of the heaving sea.

“You will swim to a surface
that isn’t there,
try to reach a moon
suspended in air,
believe in illusions
of distant hills,
& try to walk on land
with fishes’ gills!”