Dark Side of the Moon
by Lois Beckett
The moon hangs tonight in the summer sky:
distant, sweetly tinged with gold.
Such serenity comes
only with distance. I am like the moon.
I am calm because I am far from suffering.
I can walk outside tonight hearing nothing
but the sighing of the breeze. I am only afraid of shadows.
I shine tonight in my quiet world, peaceful as the moon.
How could I not love such beauty?
With that same loveliness the moon shines
on a deserted field. No one walks there.
The earth is sown with landmines. Do not gather
their sudden, deadly blossoms.
How full and romantic the moon is
over the city's vacant streets.
No one pauses to gaze at it. Kidnappers wait
in the dark. People stay at home -
not that their homes are safe.
Gun shots, moans of the sick, weeping,
and the moon is beautiful, beautiful.
It turns and turns around the earth,
The moon does not understand suffering.
And though I barely understand it,
I cannot rest in the moon's soft light.
Far from me, a girl wishes she lived on the moon,
that she could bound weightless through the air,
never hear another cry. Silence, she prays, silence.
But I cannot be silent.
Though the sun is far from the earth, it's shining
is not as cold and empty as the moon's.
It's life brings life. I must find a way,
whatever my distance, to help, to give comfort
I cannot numb my gaze with stars
or veil my eyes, as clouds cover the face of the moon,
that glowing face, beautiful and blind.
White Feathers Falling
by Rosemary Bateman
I wanted more of myself in my hands,
rising like wind-twisted juniper over the ledges of thought,
layer upon layer and all the same.
I wanted moments to pass like slow sugar in the veins of trees,
thick with untasted sweetness, but
I dream the numbness of winter
creeps like ivy between my ribs, pulling them apart.
If I were empty enough, I would let the soul of a dead mother of dead sons
share my shell, but I am too overflowing with the song of my life.
Miles from the throaty calls of mourning doves,
a woman lies dry in the dust.
She is bent forward, curving neatly into a gray photograph
where blood still crusts red.
I expect the wind to fold her husk-like body into the sand
or peel her like a yellow onion, first crisp,
then moist enough to burn the eyes.
I wonder how much war took away
before that one bullet finished
the long and heavy task of dying.
Somewhere a dove
slams its skull into a shining window,
thinking there is more sky there.
Let us just look into and through each other's eyes for a while,
under the om-shaped moon and careless stars,
and not say anything.
Let us stand for a while on the bank of this river,
cry, pray, wound ourselves with thought,
before we embrace and our minds like pearls like white feathers
fall back to hands and heart.
by Danelle Forsthoefel
No, not falling.
Drawn to an unseen force, leaning forward and back,
Rolling side to side.
Lying, floating there in white reverie.
Hear the rare whisper of the calumet,
See the proud sprig of olive.
Honor the once barren field
flooded with blood red poppies.
The flat open palm of a hand
Shouldering no pain,
Numb to the world.numb to the cause.
Directed with a whisper
along the periphery of a seven pointed star,
Bending one direction.then shifting.
No peril anymore.
No glorious death to celebrate:
the bullet planted in my heart
a token of honor, a medal,
I look to a thousand cranes,
weep for the buried bird of Aphrodite.
Drifting towards the unknown.
Skimming the unseen.
No, not floating.