Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Eclipsed

The Eclipsed

"...But when the noon wax’d bright
Her hair grew thin and grey;
She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn
To swift decay and burn
Her fire away..."
~Christina Rossetti, The Goblin Market

When the great shadow passed
across the moon's face
it shaved her just a sliver
from the full. She looked
a breaching whale in blue forever,
a bleared bacchante
swaying down the hill
drenched in black delirium,
a smile upon her lips
and bloody fingertips.

I opened every window
to that changing light, lit 
the smudge of sage to guide
the wayward heart,
called your unquiet
spirit from its grave
and bid it from this dwelling to depart,
to take its cankering spit
its wailing shell
to a place where

death itself is made remote,
and instead of sheltering all
its killing cold, to
leave me alone with
just your candled ghost.
Now we rock together side by side,
peaceful as we never were in life,
old infants in moon's cradle
milk-quiet and close to sleep,
tucked within a mantling of earth-shadow

to wake upon that noonless day
when every trace of shadow falls away.

~October 2015

posted for 

Magaly Guerrero

Top Image: Metaphysical Interior With Sun Which Dies, 1971, by Giorgio de Chirico
Fair use via
Bottom: The Golden Head, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti public domain via


  1. Mysterious, with a bit of awe, the relationship we have with the moon.

  2. It has the feel of a spell within a story. I like the imagery of a peaceful childhood mixed into this musing on death and ghostly returns.

  3. "Old infants in moon's cradle", there is such a melancholy in those lines. Like Rommy, I think the story had a feel of a banishing spell or ritual. The use of the eclipsed moon to aid in the process was brilliant!

  4. I read it twice. Then asked my friend to read it aloud for me. This is wonderful, Hedge; the hot-blooded darkness of the middle, and the intense peace of the end... the hope. The last seven lines fill the soul and promise so many things to those who didn't get the chance to say good-bye... Or, perhaps, to those who didn't say good-bye like the wanted to.

    Thank you for this.

    I shall return later... to delight in the imagery... to compare them to your "Pyrexia Eclipsed". No, I have not forgotten about writing it as a tale... I was just searching for an angle. I think this poem just gave it to me.

    *do not call the ellipses police... please*

  5. The close here is especially strong--well, the beginning too--I love the idea of the shadow shaving a bit off the moon, and the moon becoming all these images--the breaching bacchante whale especially--a bit of a Moby Dick here, being a moon--but what I found most compelling actually was the enjambment--the line about death "instead of sheltering all/its killing cold--" this is such an interesting line break---as of course death does shelter all in a way (why I liked the Spenser), but also shelters all its killing cold--and here you break it down so we are not quite sure which is at issue, the all or all the cold, though the lack of the comma and the focus on the (rather feeble) candling warmth, makes me think that it's the cold that's mainly at issue--shutting that out and the all too--and there's a kind of sweetness in that milk-sleep until the second coming--which may not actually be that great--hear honestly the mantling of earth shadow sounds kind of better than the noonless day--I especially like that the mantling of earth shadow is also somehow like earth's mantle as this bit feels very underground--anyway, some of my thoughts--it works very well--to be eclipsed is not so bad if one has company--k.

  6. Ohh, love found the way to yet again embrace something that could never die... This is really is beautiful and incredibly visual, I also love the images that accompanied you post xox

  7. Where to start with this? How about the pitch-perfect illustrations you chose to go with this? Now, the poem: The first stanza is just an incredibly vivid and well-observed description of your metaphorical moon as reveler returning home. The "breaching whale in blue forever", and yes, the moon in the deep blue of the sky *does* look like that, so why hasn't it been said that way before?

    Then you give us the "old infants" and the ambivalent--at least to me--allure and final truth-telling of the second half of this poem. Right now, Joy, I think you could look at an old hamburger wrapper blowing across a parking lot, and write something amazing about it; you just seem that locked in.

  8. Breathtaking imagery! I am blown away by the talent I am discovering as I make my way around Magaly's blog event!

  9. This was so good. Such imagery and mingling images you've crafted. Haunting.

  10. You part the veil with such skill ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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