The Moon by Howard Nelson

The Moon

I don’t always pay attention to it,
but I do notice it from time to time—
when it is especially large and bright over the lake,
or a cold crescent through the bare trees in winter,
or when I come home late and get out of the car
and it occurs to me that the driveway
is bathed in a glow, all the way up to the door,
and I look up and see the moon
white and silent. How strange
that among the immensities of space and infinity
our planet should happen to have
a single round rock circling it,
catching the sunlight, always cool,
slipping the darkness on and off so calmly,
slicing time and timelessness
into months, such a human span, always
swinging its oval around us.
As is someone had said, those human beings,
they’d like to have a luminous orb
in the darkness of the night,
and while we’re at it, let’s have it change shape,
slowly, but not too slowly,
so they can count out their lives with it,
as well as look up now and then
and feel a wash of beauty
and what a mysterious place this is.

by Howard Nelson, first appeared in The Nap by the Waterfall (Timberline Press, 2009)

Editor’s Note: This poem’s imagery is both clear and bright, welcoming the reader into the wonder that we must all have felt at one time or another.


5 responses to “The Moon by Howard Nelson”

  1. Suzanne Austin-Hill Avatar
    Suzanne Austin-Hill

    Awesome! Love the imagery, phrasing, and identifying our “need” for (benefits of) the moon.

  2. danakinsey4gmailcom Avatar

    This is a startling and beautiful poem, one I will keep close to me.

  3. Margot Brown Avatar
    Margot Brown

    This is a lovely poem. Something anyone could appreciate whether or not poetry is part of their life . . . I read it to my husband. He loved it too.

  4. teacheronleave Avatar

    Echoing all of the comments above … what a lovely, moving, deceptively simple piece of writing. Thank you.

  5. teacheronleave Avatar

    Echoing the other comments — it is a beautiful, moving piece of writing. Thank you..

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