The Last Winter Moon


( almost full Big Bear Moon)


A pale white coat

drifts across the scrub

snow asters –

starry clusters

cover the ground –

last years skeletal flowers

become cups

for melting water.


The last winter moon

is rising high

over the cottonwoods

a hallowed ring at Four.


The Big Bear Moon

takes flight while my

constellation is obscured –

his end star dipping

below the horizon.


This seasonal shift

from winter to spring

brings hard light

and days of steel blue.


I try to adjust

to a heavy heart

that beats too fast,

sinks beneath

a caul at midnight *.


The birth of spring

opens a door

to yearning and loss –

cyclic ancestral story.


Too soon

a fierce west

wind will howl

and a wall of

unbearable heat

will force

me to flee.


Sandhill cranes fly

over treacherous waters

just as I must.


Guns become neighbors.


This forward procession

a step backwards for me –

preceding my own

voyage upon stormy seas

to reach a safe harbor

of woods and ponds –

donning the skin –

of the

North Country Woman

I once thought

I left behind…


( *the rippling voices of a family of cranes floats through mud walls as I write the word “midnight” – I believe they will help though I don’t yet know how)


Working notes:


My beloved cranes are leaving… (their collective whirring, rilling, cries interrupted this writing beginning with the word ‘midnight’ and continue as I pause to wait for the right words to form)


This last moon of winter is one of transition, a yearly cycle repeats as Persephone rises (for me Persephone works in reverse – my descent occurs during the spring). For those that don’t know the story, Persephone was a Greek Goddess that was raped by the god Hades and forced into the Underworld during the fall of the year. Some say she returns in the spring as  a yellow crocus …


The rising of the Big Bear moon and the migrating Sandhill cranes speak clearly to the change of seasons, bringing me closer to the day I must leave too – breaking (open) my heart.


Living in Abiquiu has been a revelation… I have fallen in love with my favorite two seasons – fall and winter – for the second time in my life. Being here has removed the fears that overtook me during the last ten years or so that I lived year round in Maine, destroying my joy in fall (certain death of beloved bears and other animals due to hunting) and winter (fear that I could no longer take care of myself).


Loneliness was also a constant until I moved to Abiquiu; Here I feel loved, not just by the home -land upon which I am graced to live but because of people.


For the Big Bear Moon my hopeful intention is to be able to live fully in the moment so that when I do leave later in the spring I won’t have missed one precious day.