Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How High the Moon

how high the moon we are
above the clouds, above the dreams
swinging around the night
how mute she is

how white she is
by the sun
how like a white pleated skirt
twirling round and round

how black she is
in the cape of the sky
like those twisting roads
and rhymin' signs

with counter point of ticking tires
on Route 7 going south to Lenox
and Bill and Laura's roadside stand
where this is the song

among the yellow lamps
and big spot shining on the name
in block letters on the roof proclaiming
this the Quarry with rickety stools

and varnished counter with holes in the wood
I thought were just for my ice cream cone
and Glen Miller blasting from the megaphone
clung to by June bugs and moths

the music with that swing
when people didn't think about how
high the moon was and there were halls
everywhere with real bands

that swung low to earth
so we could grab the moon by her skirt
bring her right down to eye level
and us out of our seats at Bill and Laura's

among the stars and I look her in the eye
and belly up to her how high we are
the moon and I
to do that swing.

This is my entry for this week's Poetry Thursday. Music has a great influence on my poetry and for this I reached way back to some childhood memories. During the late 50's early 60's my parents used to take us to a roadside stand owned by good friends of theirs, Bill and Laura Murphy. The stand was where I described it on Route 7 going south from Pittsfield MA. Their place was open air and pretty much as I descibe it, complete with bug lamps and june bugs. They played lots of swing and big band, probably not Ella Fitzgerald at least I don't recall them playing her, but the song just fits the feelings of that place:

"Somewhere theres music
How faint the tune
Somewhere theres heaven
How high the moon
There is no moon above
When love is far away too
Till it comes true
That you love me as I love you"

The moon shoot was taken with my camera using a tripod and zoom lens. It was taken partly with this submission in mind but also as a check to see if I had my manual focus adjusted for my eyes, as well as to mess around with night shots.

There is some science here, of course, the stanza beginning "how black she is" accurately describes the idea that the surface of the moon is really quite dark and only appears bright because of the intensity of the sun's reflection contrasted against the night sky. If you don't believe me take a look at the moon rocks someday, and you will see that many of them are quite dark, basalts for instance.

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