What they have in common with the centaur
And the mermaid is they’re half a creature
Each of the other’s imagination –
She a simile and he, metaphor
He’ s a passage in scripture that’s obscure
She’s on his face like illumination.
Cesar Ruiz Aquino 2013
The Moon itself had shown no sign
it was coming to an end, looking to wax and wane
forever. It came, disappeared, returned
as it had gone, if not quite, being horned
Like a thing unveiled, a birthday presence
within us, if flung at the sky. Then came the occurence.
Everyone was having a strange dream of the Moon.
A boy dreamed there were two. A fisherman
That the sea had gone to the Moon and it rained fish.
A crone, that she suckled a crowd in a nightmare drought
of milk and honey. A chess genius, that he saw her
on the 65th square, virginal, untouched, yet with child.
An electric light thief, that the moon never
existed, there never was a Moon, and so on
and so forth. Each dream, taken in isolation
was a reclining Buddha ride on Moon River
But occurring as they did, together, they transcended
the dreamers. It was an epidemic of dreams
and hardly had people begun to talk about it
when the dreams abruptly stopped, the dreaming ended
A back to normal that read abnormal signal
number two. For it’s one thing to say
the dreams never happened, but never dreamed –
no one had dreamed any of this at all?
Sleepers stirred, talked, shouted, moaned
grew stockstill as if their doubles were marooned
on a dream that floated, that was pure dream, there
being no dreamer. It was then people
Without catching on, caught on. This was how
the living grasped the end: It is now.
As for the dead, they rose and wished they were dead
seeing at last what the species must die for:
Moon, earth, sun stars – in that order.
But how could one have missed the acronym?
Already the hero of a thousand, he flew (the word
sucks, he had been on the Moon all the time
Had taken no journey. He was on top
of a rock formation in space, some poverty-stricken
landscape of a once opulent imagination
he had some time recognizing as his own)
And there they were, the lost folk, the Moon
people, ourselves in nebula – in the dream it was nebulum –
upon whom descended the relief we feel when rescued
though in deeper shadow, penumbral, in eclipse
When he saw her in that cavern without a wall!
She was possessed of a shyness, like a bride at her nuptial
who is in truth just one girl among others
yet when their eyes met, what he was was hidden
No longer – no longer a vortex, like the Devil legion
he was one – he was the one! But a maiden
as she was, the power was hers, she was the power
that fixed him as he was: Child of the Moon
The earthsend who got to the Full Moon
with a single bound, The Man Who Saved The Moon
a child! a boy, the boy who never grew
being the boy in the legend who in the netherland
Stopped the sea with his forefinger, who drew
the sword from the stone, who riddled the wind, who slew
the giant with a slingshot, who wrote the sultan’s new
rubaiyat, who bore the ring at the Moon’s wedding
And could have cried in wonder at the perfect resemblance,
woke still dreaming at the sight of the old crone’s
smile – she floated motionless on a bottomless joy!
but his own feelings were in shadow, were shadows.
Moon people died sweetly. Dying
To them was as honey, as wine, as nectar, as water
whether drunk from some mountain stream
or drenched in from a sudden summer shower.
As ornaments they wore the thorn, the lightning, the snake
as most certainly she did, the young one
except just now, for among Moon people
to stress that the body was a thing of the rarest make
Celebrants in a rite went as bare as possible;
thus the Moon-queen was the one least dressed.
Moonlight became her, yes, her tresses curled
her lips red, her eyes bright from within
If she spoke but a word, he imagined a bird
call would follow. If she drew a step closer
he knew he would pick a scent from a lightyear
away, himself imprinted with attar.
He’d see her still were she to turn invisible!
No one could be that beautiful and not love
life where he came to be – without the ring?
The ring-bearer does not have the ring yet he brings it!
The old one looked inward and saw all;
the young one met his eyes because her glance
was outward, she was seeing things unfold;
the old one had seen all this before, and therefore
No longer watched. Or did she? It was not just
a resemblance. He had missed it, how could he?
How could he not? It was impossible to see them
one, yet they were, they were one!
Light as a leaf, as a feather, he was gone
everything was light he was not flying
but gliding in space like a leaf, like a feather. At certain
moments his descent was suspended and he was floating
In midspace, and fired by a terrific volition, made
like an acrobat describing circlet after circlet, gift
upon gift, the gift of Moon! He was a moonbeam
drawing nigh, and the night, the universe, was a minus
One symphony that caught him, no matter how random,
no matter how soon or how late, no matter how mindless,
how free his move was. No one was watching him
that he knew, except gramercy! perhaps an elf
Of an angel watching him as he watched himself
while down below the mid-earth rejoiced: All things
are moonlight, even the sun! there is only one
shining in the dreams of the sleepers. For in the night
Once more the grass grew, the flowers bloomed.
The stars fell, the sea traveled. A spider
wove rival patterns to a somnambular
insomniac’s steps as he paced his room.
Cesar Ruiz Aquino
Even the wind halted,
at your curls
on its fingers, hands –
offered (you did not hear)
to retrieve your hat
that got caught
on a queer
a moon that molted
above it, islands
upon the sea.
Even the wind
Cesar Ruiz Aquino
Since a merely sensible universe negates God
A lover cannot, alas, trace eternity’s lines –
Not once kept infinitely awed:
Everything revealed is carefully spun, swung on nothing
Such invisibility extends mere eyesight not seeing
My one text, one rhyme, one love anthology