Editor’s Note: I’m sure I’m one of millions who stood last night in the dark and watched the full moon slowly fall into eclipse, and then eversoslowly return to its silvery brightness.
When I see such things in the heavens, I wonder how they affected my great-great-great ancestors, how they might have sat around a fire watching that ancient face grow shadowed, then reappear. What stories did they tell one another about it?
I expect it was more wonderful than the ones we tell ourselves today — how this or that angle or orbit or calendar is at work, and when it happened last, and will repeat. So obsessed we are with measuring and defining!
Sometimes I search a long time to find a poem to share with you. And some days, like today, there seem so many that I want to unfurl them like banners across your evening sky.
However many times the moon has been eclipsed, such an event will inevitably repeat, whether or not we are here to see it. And those uncountable number of stars — some, I’m told, that are really no longer “alive,” but burnt out long, long ago. How strange it is to contemplate such things.
I am overwhelmed these days by the abundance of the natural world: the dancing cloud of gnats I can see from my door, the ever-sprouting blades of grasses, the billions of leaves that will soon fall from the trees, the molecules of love floating through the universe.
So here is a poem about abundance, and the unending cycle of life in the universe.
A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree
That had eased itself of its summer load,
And of all but its trivial foliage free,
Now breathed as light as a lady’s fan.
For there had been an apple fall
As complete as the apple had given man.
The ground was one circle of solid red.
May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.
2. Compose a list poem about things that have gone unharvested, whether naturally or by design.
3. Define “Abundance” in a poem by using images and metaphor.
4. Create a poem called “Eclipse,” using the letters E-C-L-I-P-S-E as first letters of each line.