One night, the moon – dreamless in Denmark

That last full moon

conjured phantoms and poems

off sleepless pillows

all over town.

 

A desperate flotilla,

our unquiet beds

strayed the wide back of night

as we, dreamless in Denmark,

alone in the undark,

bobbed fearful

in our silvery seas.

 

Great tides of longing,

deep swells of forgetting,

grumbles and fretting

rode heavy under all our craft…

eating the dreamers,

tossing their boats

conjuring dark puzzles

 

and snaking our waves.

 

The fairy tore her linen bonnet

and twisted her nightgown

with anguish.

 

The forest walker

was lost for hours in a labyrinth

caves and wolf magic.

 

The poet, finding herself in a pool

of bright water, (fallen all the way from the moon!)

was electrified in her sheets.

 

 

One man agreed to die.

 

But most clung on

their wretched craft.

Just a few,

sniffing mushroom, fox, sweet moss and drumskin,

crept out to the wild.

Out into that spangled cathedral

between the unfolding woods

and the uncurling sea

where the land gives her stories

to the silvery stars.

 

There they saw the ghost ship riding,

her mermaids abroad, and her stallions at large.

They saw the shimmery nets were cascading

and that halflings and soldiers and lonely bones

were riding about her, great pillars resounding

from Australia to her sister in arms, fair Pleiades.

 

Broken dreamers, weeping men and felons pulled those ropes.

They churned the cosmic ocean,

spilling little boats and tossing fishes

as the blood in the soil

took robe of flower, cloak of bark, crown of feather

and composed itself into faces

to turn toward the heavens.

 

Down down down

spilled the glittery tresses.

One for every lost sailor

in our geology of sorrow.

 

and up up up

reached those yearning caresses,

turned from pulling at shrouds

made of silence, of violence and the deep clay of despair,

turned from their dark business with the purifying earth,

made ready to ride again, brightly.

 

This last full moon, remember?

She set out her fleets across

rocky seas through sleepless sailors, us.

She shook up our cradles

and salted our tongues.

She gargoyled our dreams and curdled our pillows

so that all her monstrous babies

could borrow our prayers,

could bite at the sky,

could toss up the firmament

and gallop the switchback

for that starry leap

beyond the jaberwock.

 

Their great triumph,

a bridge made of moonstone

between the treasons of our fathers

and the futures of their sons,

born to ride the helix

on a crucifix of Love.

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