Saturday, 30 January 2010

“An Imaginary Menagerie"

A Year of Indian Moons


Moon phases fascinate us. Ancient civilizations based their calendars on them, the Old Testament told us to blow the trumpet in the new moon, and Christians choose the date of Easter by the first full moon that falls after the vernal equinox.

The moon is strong: it pulls on tides and other sap and moistures, inspires poets, piano pieces and pop-songs; its dark side (apparently) influences the seeds of our unconscious, and illuminates the thin veil of truth between lunacy and genius.

In the year of my birth, on the day that I was born there was, I have discovered, a Full Moon. Native American Tribes call the full moons various names; this idea inspired me to write a sequence of poems about the mystery of the Imagination.

So here is a poem about a dog that I wholly believe in, even if Charles M. Schulz denies his existence. What does he know! Anyway, I’m off to howl at the moon.

Moon Phases, January 2010

Last Quarter – January 7, 10:39

New Moon – January 15, 07:11

First Quarter – January 23, 10:53

Full Moon – January 30, 06:18


JANUARY: Wolf Moon (Algonquin)

The Paper Wolf

Snoopy sits on his kennel top,
Howling at the moon.
Like no other dog he feels the cold,
and his digitally accurate internal clock
knows it's suppertime,

so he sings for it, with plaintive tone.
It wails across the neighbourhood
towards his distant ancestors, to mock
their envy of his absurdly luxurious manner.

By day, he's a party animal,
Lord of his manor, ace pilot, quarter back,
Easter Beagle, champion pitcher,
Planting his wet kisses on Lucy,
Dancing his manic jig to the Moonlight Sonata!
Now he curses his moonlit solitude,
Deserted by his nominal Master.

He's everyone's dog, you know,
not some miraculous creation
or bionic pencil-sketch.
Not so: his real master picks up his pen and
demotes the miracle, delineates the lineage,
deludes the illusion.

- Snoopy's not a real dog, he maintains:
he's an image of what people would like a dog to be.

You blockhead, Charlie Brown.

No comments:

Post a comment