Back Together with Moon

Poetry Friday logo by Linda Mitchell

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

So, this month, our Poetry Princess challenge was to write in response to a quotation. The initial one someone suggested was an excerpt from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, p. 359, in the chapter “People of Corn, People of Light:” “If grief can be a doorway to love, then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart so we can love it back to wholeness again.” I haven’t read this, but it’s a lovely quotation. Unfortunately, life has been chaotic, and I forgot that quotation.

If You Were the Moon
If You Were the Moon

Then Irene Latham invited us to write moon poems! Oh, how I love the moon. My If You Were the Moon began as a things to do if you are… poem about the moon. So I was definitely on board with celebrating the moon and celebrating Irene’s new poetry collection, The Museum on the Moon, which I’m eager to read.

And THEN, I read Linda Mitchell’s clunker lines. Or misread them. The very first one, “Catch a falling/Word hold/Onto it.” I read it as “Catch a falling/World…” Ooooh. That could work perfectly with the moon, I thought. But then I remembered the quotation. Ack! But when I put the three thoughts together, I liked the way they sort of intertwined. So I wrote something. This is draft 4, written during my live write last Sunday with Tanita and Tricia. I’ll share drafts 1–3 below the image, for those who want to see the evolution of the poem.

 d1 – 6/23/23 [Okay, not a full draft. I felt drifty as I started writing this, with no clear idea of form or what I wanted to say.]

Moon, you have a tough job.

Put on your silver robe
and sing the earth still.
Sing the same song
to oceans and land

d2 – 6/25/23 [In this draft, I had the idea of an extended metaphor for the moon as a carpenter. With this one, I was thinking of that quotation, and of grief, and of the moon fixing that grief somehow.]

Moon, You Are a Carpenter

Your soft silver hammer
taps the world back together.
You nail darkness to dawn,
glue oceans to shore.
You build a boardwalk of dreams
into the sky
and pour yourself into lighting it,
so that the gone can walk it,
and the missers can see that
stream of connection.

Here to there.
Now to then.
Alone to comfort.

d3 – 6/25/23 [After writing this draft, I realized that although the moon does bring me great solace, I didn’t really want to write about grief in the sense of someone dying, and that’s how this sort of went, to me. I also didn’t like the ending stanza of the never touching earth, which seemed to emphasize distance rather than connection. So in draft 4, the one in the image poem, I made the leaving about the moon leaving earth, since scientists believe the moon was formed from debris that was thrown into space when a meteor hit earth. The whole carpenter and mother thing still has a hint of Jesus/Mary to me, even though I had absolutely NO religious thoughts or intentions. Not sure if anyone else would make that connection, anyway.]

Moon, You Are a Carpenter

You catch a falling world.
Hold onto it.
With a soft silvered hammer,
you tap us back together.
You nail darkness to dawn,
glue oceans to shore.
You build a boardwalk
from dreams to sky
and drape yourself over it.

When travelers walk it,
we can watch them go,
feel your steady stream of connection.
Here to there.
Now to then.
Alone to comfort.

Moon, you rebuild
the world even
though you never ever
touch it.

Thanks for all your kind Comments lately. Life is settling down a tad. I think. <3 Make sure to check out the others who wrote to a quotation:

Tanita
Kelly
Liz

Sara 
Mary Lee
Tricia 
Andi

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. [Okay, not all of them. I need to update this page.]

And be sure to visit Live Your Poem with Irene Latham for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup. She’s celebrating her new book, Museum on the Moon!

If you’d like to write with us next month, we’re writing monotetras (never heard of ’em). You can post yours on your blog on July 28, or on social media using #PoetryPals, or in the comments on one of the Poetry Sisters’ blogs. All are welcome!

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14 Responses

  1. Laura, I really love that idea of “nailing darkness to dawn” and “joining/here to there.” The poem feels both comforting and hopeful to me, and I needed both this evening!

  2. Hi Laura, I love your MOON book and also this idea of moon as carpenter is unexpected and thoughtful! “You catch a falling world” is wonderful! Yay for Linda’s clunkers and what they can become! xo

  3. Thanks for sharing your process, Laura. Your poem as an address to Moon is beautiful. I especially like the image of Moon catching a falling world.

  4. The metaphor of moon as a carpenter is fantastic and fresh! I love “you patch our gaps, / nailing darkness to dawn, / gluing ocean to shore.”

  5. This moon poem is so beautiful! I love how you brought the quote and challenges together. I miss writing with you and the sisters.

    1. We miss you, Andi! I’ve missed several live writes recently. Only 3 of us were there last time. But whoever shows up, it’s wonderful. So come any month that happens to work for you <3

  6. I enjoyed and reading your process and thoughts about different lines, Laura, and that you amazed by combining all the challenges — wow! And I love the subtle way you included the science of the moon, using the carpenter metaphor within. And, I love your book!

  7. I’m not sure where my comment went but it seemed to quietly disappear! First, I want to say how much I love your own moon book. Then, I enjoyed reading about your process and admire you for including all the challenges, from quote to Irene’s & then picking up Linda’s clunker! Well done! Glad to hear things are settling a little!

  8. Love this, Laura! Sometimes combining a bunch of ideas gives the best results. I esp. like the boardwalk of light and joining here to there. Wonderful imagery of connectedness. xo

  9. Love your gorgeous poem Laura and how you describe all the Moon-carpenter’s actions, and leaving, and “loving us back/ together again”–feels like a wonderful warm hug, thanks!

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