OK, it took all my concentration this morning to be a safe driver, once I'd seen that big fat full moon hovering on the horizon. I pointed it out, over my left shoulder, to my daughter, as we turned right, or east, toward her school, and then I chose the route home that would let me drive safely west, straight at it, watching it elongate (become more oblong than round), drop, and disappear. This happened rather quickly, on a stretch of rough road that takes me by the home of Chris Al-Asad (founding editor of Escape Into Life), as part of the moon's appearance in the morning at this time of year, I hear, is illusory. It's there and not there, visible through refraction? That is, illusory at the moment of sun coming up on one horizon and moon going down on the other horizon. Tonight, look up! Tomorrow morning, arrange the routine to see as much of that moon as I can!
I also realized this morning that I'd come round in the Poetry Radio rotation again last night. Alas, I missed the cool 20-years-of-Acousticity show, with Allison Krauss as a teenager! You can hear the poem if you want, "Married Love," as a podcast, or read it in the Love Poems issue of Poetry East, #53, which you can find here. It's also in my chapbook Broken Sonnets, as it is a "broken" (and unrhyming) sonnet about an "unbroken" (sometimes, OK, often rhyming) marriage.
And I am my own goatherd, I hope, thanks to this fine reflection by Bob Ryder, in the Reflecting Pool. Bob was reminding us at church yesterday of the vigilance it takes to remain nonviolent in life, down to not letting someone "get our goat"--that is, not letting someone provoke us into being cranky and irritable in our own actions and speech.
Bob told about a job interview, and a boss's warning about a certain manager:
“This guy seems to know how to get a person's goat,” he explained.
“No worries.” I countered, “I’ll leave my goat at home.”
Heh heh. Bob then confessed to his own failure to leave his goat at home, and I have been known to be cranky and irritable in response to the bad behavior of others or to actual or perceived insult, offense, or injustice, so this was a good goat's heads-up for me. (Also, I had been craving drunken goat cheese on the walk to church, but that's another story, and a great excuse for the drunken goat cheese illustration again!) While I did not speak into the microphone at church about it, I had a little epiphany! I had just run into a guy who not only gets my goat but resembles a goat! And I was gentle with him, said happy new year, and wished him well. I wasn't letting him off the hook, er, the shepherd's hook(!), but I was letting him be his own goatherd, as I'm not interested in that job.
Thanks, once again, to Jonathan Koch for the watermelon, which is neither goat nor moon.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, and taught college English courses. Now I write poetry, blog "eight days a week," and listen to birdsong.