Wednesday morning last week, in an early morning west window and between the dense crowns of two red maples, I saw the fully turned visage of the blood moon sitting inclusive like a wild Buddha and seemingly bound to the station of human gravity. The lunar ghost we typically recognize in the silver spheres had been replaced with a silent gatherer of all our pulsing reflections- earthen bestiary of sepia, symbiont observer to the wax and wane of life. Minutes later though.... gone beyond, elsewhere. Replaced with the daily beacons of fragile bedroom lamps and kitchen lights. Continuing stories of hunger, school, work, play; varied life experiences until the elderly slide into personal timelessness. A few days later, I came across the following from Kenneth Rexroth’s poem 'The Lights in the Sky are Stars", in which he describes his family's observation of a blood moon eclipse some 60 years earlier:
A blowing night in late fall,
The moon rises with a nick
In it. All day Mary has
Been talking about the eclipse.
Every once in a while I
Go out and report on the
Progress of the earth's shadow.
When it is passing the half,
Marthe and Mary come out
And we stand on the corner
In the first wisps of chilling
Fog and watch the light go out.
Streamers of fog reach the moon,
But never quite cover it.
We have explained with an orange,
A grapefruit, and a lamp, not
That we expect a four
Year old child to understand -
Just as a sort of ritual
Duty. But we are surprised
'The earth's shadow is like blood,'
She says. I tell her the Indians
Called an eclipse blood on the moon.
'Is it all the blood on the earth
Makes the shadow that color?'
She asks. I do not answer.