Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tears Of The Moon

Tears Of The Moon

"La mar no tiene naranjas, ni Sevilla tiene amor..."
(The sea has no oranges, nor Seville any love...)
from Adelina de Paseo, by Federico Garcia Lorca


The sea is made
from the tears of the moon.
They fall like meteorites
to build the splash of azure rivers.
They fall like rocks
the air has set on fire in
a coliseum of dust, an iron mist
burning with the blue taste of salt.

The sea is cold, incalculable
as the heart of my beloved,
changeful, infinite, self-satisfied
and blind. This is why
the moon cries. She knows she lays
her silver face for nothing
across the drenched toss of the
erasing waves. The sea

is too busy,
tonight, and every night.


The sea has far to travel
to kiss the dun lips of Spain, to fondle 
Gibraltar like a primitive doll,
to curl the sand under
on the Costa del Sol,
guitaring sweet lovesongs
to women with eyes like summer figs
who walk with the chiming of rice in the wind

whose hips round as oranges
call night after night
for the men who don't come; nuns
of blue rivers, learning to understand
the tears of the moon
that drip from the lids of
an extinguished rock, while on the
ruined plains of a waterless country

an old woman reads Lorca at midnight,
with the tears of the moon on her cheeks.

~January 2020

posted for earthweal

Images: Orange Trees on the Road to Seville, 1903 © Joaquin Sorolla Public Domain
The Font, 1930 © Salvador Dali Public Domain



  1. I had to stop after the first two lines to absorb how beautiful a thought that is. And then "women with eyes like summer figs / who walk with the chiming of rice in the wind." Wow. Your two closing lines could be me, reading late at night, so often with tears. It is joy to be reading you again.

  2. I love a poem in parts, and each side of this sea coin delivers its own unique and picturesque image. The coldness giving way to passion, and the return to the tears of the moon is masterful.

  3. Damn. One needs a lot of acreage to sing of the moon and the sea in such strolling Lorcean landscapes, panning back to find they are tracks of reader's tears. There was a theory of the moon's origin back in the 50s (when Rachel Carson put it forth in The Sea Around Us) that the moon was birthed from the Earth, a tidal overslap of magma that leapt into near space and jellied into the moon. The part of the earth which gave birth to the moon is the Pacific, so the idea went. Proved wrong, but I've always been fond on the umbilical relation between a full moon and tears as salty as the sea. Anyway, reversing the flow here so that only the moon is that wise to the cold sea's embrace says so much about wisdom wasted on the still young at heart. Who learns this stuff, anyway? Same as it ever was. Something about loving Lorca here is sidereal, as ghostly as moonlight, as youth that one now can only dream. Great work, Hedge.

  4. Ah, you've been reading our friend! The last 6 lines of the furst section are breath-taking and worthy of Federico himself. And that ending, the way you bring it around, is so perfect and heart breaking.

    I am having a very difficult time navigating your blog lately, btw. I am having the same issues i was having with Word Garden. Everything takes forever to load and it is unresponsive a lot and has to be refreshed. An issue with Chrome and "improvements" no doubt, but I finally got to read the whole poem and comment, so yay.

    1. "On your computer, open Chrome. At the top right, click More. Click Update Google Chrome. If you don't see this button, you're on the latest version.Oct 21, 2019"

      Many versions of Chrome across a variety of operating systems are no longer being supported.

  5. That’s the most beautiful and wondrous poem I’ve read in a long time! Suddenly I’m reminded that — regardless of terrors and disasters and ultimate doom — it’s worth being alive just to read this! And others of its ilk. (Being that I’m such a sea-lover doesn’t hurt at all.)

  6. Heartbreak ties up, bonds the personal and the universal so beautifully. The scar is deep to the end of abyss. "the / ruined plains of a waterless country" seems no longer geographical but a hungry heart of 'Everyman'. Absolutely awestruck at such a spontaneous flow of rich imagery in every line.

  7. It is all in there isn't it Joy? Summed up with the image of an old woman reading from the heart of Lorca with the tears that created the seas on her cheek.

  8. Worthy of Lorca, indeed! A quote from my favorite verse:
    "The sea is cold, incalculable
    as the heart of my beloved,
    changeful, infinite, self-satisfied
    and blind. This is why
    the moon cries."

    And the last old lady in part 2, I think, and reads after a lifetime of living like the Spanish shore line under the moon and the people of Lorca's time--after a lifetime of being the moon on the Spanish shore. It's quite a journey you give us here. I like how your line weaves through it, gathering it like beads towards its conclusion.


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

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