Moonlight Trees

The September Moon births murex and abalone shells.
People search shallow tide pools for treasure.
Fistfuls of finger-nail-sized baby sand dollars cry.

People tumble inside moonlight, frail as plastic beach balls.
They are so cold with hypothermic heat that they strip,
into their million ‘bacon’ costumes.

The thunderbolt up Zeus’ sleeve flat-lines.
His cygnet stage no longer entertains his naked audience.
Leda escaped, smiling softly and whispering, “my magic is stronger.”

Boom! Everywhere Boom! Helios slams sunshine closed.
He knocks everything over, hurrying to his winter blinds.
He opens the wet, glossy, never-ending northern night.

People try to navigate, climbing from wobbly row boats,
stumbling into midnight black. Old confidence
forgets how to cart wheel in the dark.

Ancient cornucopias no longer mirror inner ears.
Babies suffer without tight hugs of swaddling lights.
They are like Noahs, launched into fierce, white water.

Years of silent, Charlie Chaplin acrobatics spin,
developing their first spoken black and white images,
emerging with a red filter, emphasizing contrasts.

White noise pours through people’s memories.
For some, it is like a virgin’s first glimpse of hourglass sand.
People can’t distinguish the words of this rapid voice.

This hushed anthem twirls like a mountain lion preparing its bed.
It rises like a stadium, enraptured with standing ovations.
The cold stare of the cat turns to look behind him.

Suddenly, the old prizes start to tumble. Falling. Falling.
Alice in Wonderland morphs into a civ that everything must fall through.
These final moments will freeze like the empty silhouettes of trees.

Questions and Answers

Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been steeped in poetry as my life was always immersed in cryptic symbolism and mythologies.

How/where do you find inspiration today?

I find my inspiration for poetry in the blessings of my daily environment and the people I share it with.

What inspired or motivated you to write this poem?

I’m very eagle-eyed, and this motivated me to describe the world I see around me through poetry.

What poetic techniques did you use in this poem? How much attention do you pay to form and metre?

In my poetry, I am always first drawn to symbolic context. I have a private dictionary of experience, including things I’ve studied, that I draw from. In a poem with less assonance, consonance, and alliteration, I love adding a little rhythm and some resounding repetition.

This poem “Moonlight Trees” originally appeared in House, Home, Hospitality Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 237 (2019): 101-102.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.