December 31, 2009KR BlogKR

Happy Blue Moon New Year’s Day – Hard Times, Birth Days, The Future and a Coconut

The end of a year — time to reflect back and dream forward — new luck and new loss, old grief and still green hope.

Between the Cold Moon and the Wolf Moon we’ll sneak in a Blue Moon, on New Year’s Eve no less. (Although this blue moon doesn’t really mean it will look blue — in 1883, when the volcano Krakatoa erupted, for months the moon did appear blue, the sun lavender, and fire engines were called to put out the sunsets.)

I’m thinking about The Future. (Whoa.)

I’m thinking about my birthday that just passed (“I could easily have switched on a lamp, /but I wanted to ride this day down into night“), and the birthday of the new decade (wishing for you):

A Birthday

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a da??s of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

(Christina Rossetti)

Of Vic Chesnutt — unafraid to sing into human dark and light — who has graced nearly every mixtape I’ve made for anyone in the past 5 years — “In My Way, Yes” from the CD accompanying the Wave Books Isn’t It Romantic poetry anthology — who died on Christmas day. (“Do you think it makes a difference? I say yes.“)

Of elephants — this year only 1 small herd was left surviving in Sierra Leone, and in late November it was discovered that all of the individuals had been massacred by poachers hunting for ivory. Around the world about 100 elephants are killed A DAY for their ivory — hard to believe this is still happening. (And birth rates are low since an elephant is pregnant for 22 months.) The iconic elephant, looming so large in our imaginations (“Randall Jarrell compared me // to Wallace Stevens, the American poet. I can see it / in the lumbering tercets, but in my mind // I am more like Eliot…” – Dan Chiasson, “The Elephant”) — but still so troubled on the earth.

…they wait

for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts
slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the river-beds
and drink and browse

and dash in panic through the brake
of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake
together, without a word.

(From “The Elephant is Slow to Mate” — D. H. Lawrence)

Of the worry of bats seen by winter day.

Of a little new hope for the waning American Elm.

Of an octopus and a coconut.

Every day can’t be Christmas,
Mon cher
. We are tires
Without spokes, so silver
When the day is silver, too.
Every day we walk
With trees sprouting out of engines,
We wait for some clear answer
Funneled through our sacred
Wants. We want. We can’t.
But who is to say that candy
Will not fall through our hands,
Take what we’ve spoken
In hushed voices, streaming silver
In the blighted day…

(From “5/30/06,” Sunny Wednesday — Noelle Kocot)

* * *

My favorite big tree in Seattle looks smaller now in its winter-bare form. Yesterday walking under it, I looked up and was surprised to see many bird shapes asleep in the branches. They were so quiet and still, I would never have guessed they were there.

Wishing you all many hidden, still sleeping wishes in your big new year. Until then, sparklers and a light in the moon.

Kostian1_med-blue moon