Waning moon, 98.1 %
illuminated, climbing into cloud,
twilight fading - not blind nightfall, though
that will come – margins of the visible:
blear line of the south mountain, Mars
sinking in the west, the Milky Way
shuttered, Altair and Vega estranged,
Zhinü’s silk endlessly webbing
subtle shiftless air.
Grey head bent over an ancient song –
lying alone by the cold river,
surprised by the evening of the year -
your lamp will not suffice.
And what of that 1.9 %
short of perfection? That ragged edge
of light, mouse-eaten against the dark?
Lyly claimed in all perfect shapes a
blemish brings a liking every way
to the eyes. Go to the window, love.
The nights grow long.
Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:
“Cloud Study, Moonlight”: Albert Bierstadt, circa 1860: oil on paper.