Thursday, July 9, 2009

Praying in the Temple of the Moon

As my regular readers know, I've been writing a series of poems over the past nine months inspired a newfound love for Luna, our gorgeous moon, along with Italo Calvino's story The Distance of the Moon and my romance with Valerie, my own personal moon goddess. I wrote this one yesterday (07.08.09) after participating in one of Val's rituals. It's barely edited, a bit rough even, but I do love it. I hope you like it.

Praying in the Temple of the Moon

I went to church
last night
the first time in a score
of years,
but it was unlike
any service
I’d ever attended.

I climbed onto a rooftop,
slipped under
a cloud-capped canopy of
night sky,
the fullness of my Moon,
my altar,
the sounds of a Remington
summer night, traffic up
& down Howard,
onto & off the JFX,
my soundtrack.

For a while,
I just sat there
feeling my place
in the Universe,
a floating fleck
connected to
Then I slipped out
of my clothing—
bared myself before
my Moon.

I prayed like I’d been taught
to pray by the Witnesses,
the Baptists—The Mormons
did it best—show gratitude
for your blessings, ask
for what you want.

It was harder than
I first imagined:
My blessings have been nearly
my needs seem so greedy
after the Universe’s generosity of late,
But I just knew,
& I knew
the Universe knew,
you know?

I repeated my pact:
for as much as I get
I’d make sure to give back
& I sealed my mystical missive
with the holiest act
of Love.

I awoke to find my Moon
had almost completed its track,
the Sun was creeping up,
His overbearing light
threatening to hide Her
for another night.
But my service was done,
my ritual complete,
my rites restored.

It was not the churches
of old, full of preachers teaching
Jesus, & right from wrong,
defining evil;
but in the Temple of the Moon,
in a pew carved
from the Universe itself,
I was closer to God than I’d ever been.
I was happy.
I was whole.

UPDATE: This poem was later published in Smile Hon, You're in Baltimore, by Eight Stone Press.

No comments: