Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon

A Poem by barleygirl

getting lost in Lost Valley . . .


Plunging into my overstuffed chair
 overlooking the deepening twilight
 overlays of mauve and plum ridges
 sway my mercurial melancholy
 as charcoal tinctures claw away
 a final array of solar remnants.

Dusky enchantment dapples my synapses.

Each minute is a suspense missile
 my eyes pop open to gobble clarity
 just then, shrouded luminosity
 heralds the impending Harvest Moon
 her scrambled glow behind a summit
 oak limb lattice flings lacy splashes
 lichen balloons in scritchy applause
 hanging moss like waving hankies
 all keen for her theatrical entrance.

A twilight chill on this autumn cusp
 signals a snuggle deep into my lap quilt
 and Lost Valley blossoms behind my eyelids
 about that time I transformed age thirty-two
 into summer-drenched buttercup aspirations
 futile long-ago quest for a frayed connection
 and the detached moon diamond-sparkled
 but our moonbeams got snuffed.

Years of friendship didn’t translate into lover-hood.

This other Harvest Moon was icy and aloof
 illuminating our sips of hot cider with cognac
 campfire toasts and spider webs of expectation
 frosty fingers entwined, one seeking the elusive
 and the other drawn by a coyote howl of wanderlust
 both of us going through some savage motions
 as an owl hoots his proffered wisdom.


We awoke groggy, that last frigid morn
 reaching to spark that stubborn stove
 reaching to stir steaming coffee crystals
 into cold mugs glaciated with crackles
 staying snuggled deep in our bags
 seeking a bit more sleepy-time warmth
 but we both saw a vital soul link shrink
 we were getting lost in Lost Valley
 and that was an eon ago.

Late 1980’s, I hadn’t yet fathomed the
extent of my feral nature . . .
forget about plumbing the depths of it.

Decades later in my rustic cabin
 only a coyote’s howl from Lost Valley
 (or, some fire seasons, a helicopter hop)
 remembering two far-reaching wildfires
 that sniffed my backwoods threshold
 for three smoldering months in 2016
 and again, evacuation order in 2020
 big wildfires with undervalued tidings:
 periodic burns pump the wilderness thrive.

Plunging into my overstuffed chair
 overlooking my own deepening twilight
 mauve smoke plumes, melancholy murmur
 shredding a multi-chopper soundtrack
 thankful for a decade of tempestuous joy
 pooling her ethos and lifeblood with mine.