Thursday, April 5, 2012

Listen for the Voice of the Moon...

Oh, how I wish I could have penned these wonderful words of Dr. Richard Shelton... a poem that speaks to me as magically as does the moon itself.  Stand silently in the glorious moonlight some night and see if you, too, can hear it...

          by Richard Shelton

When I wake in the night,
troubled and thinking
I heard the cry of a bird,
I go to the window
and look out.

Then I realize
it was the cry of the moon.
Years ago I thought
I heard the voice of mountains
which spoke only at night.

Since then I have listened many
times, and I was mistaken. 
It was the echo
of the voice of the moon.
When I am unhappy
the moon reminds me
that all things change.

When I am happy
it does the same thing.

I can believe that men
have walked on the moon. 
Men would do a thing like that. 
But when I am told the moon
is a huge round stone
which does not change its shape
and has no light of its own,
I cannot believe it.

I have heard the voice of the moon.

When I become confused
and do not know who I am,
I listen to the voice of the moon.

The moon knows who everyone is
and forgives all of us.

When the moon is new
it begins at the beginning
and tells the same story
straight through to the end.

It is a long story
but we listen and believe.
Who can doubt
the voice of the moon.

It is important
to learn the habits of the moon.

Otherwise, one might wait
all night and it would not appear.
And when the sun rose triumphant,
one might despair,
believing the moon had been
destroyed and would never return.

The sun is like fire.
It takes what it wants
and pays no attention to anyone.

But the moon knows each of us. 
It looks into our eyes
and remembers all our names.

When we watch the sun go down
we are impressed with its glory.

When we watch the moon go down
we want to go with it.

The sea, the wind, and the owl
try to imitate
the voice of the moon.
But none succeed. 

Beethoven and Debussy tried
to write its song, but compared
to the voice of the moon
one of them created the sound
of screendoors slamming,
and the other, the sound
of a pork chop being fried.

When the moon rises
in the afternoon and sets
too early to be of any use,
I remember how old I am
and that I no longer
have the option of dying young.

When I sleep and moonlight
comes through the window
and touches me,
I become a dream.

No man turns into a wolf
when the moon is full.

But wolves howl
when the moon is full
because they hear its voice.

Some think the moon is silent. 
They are blind.

From Chosen Place  (Best Cellar Press, 1975)  ASIN: B001TYOCA0
©Richard Shelton

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