Once upon a time, I used to write poetry. A lot of it, in fact - so much that I had already published three volumes of poetry, Silent Moments, Into My Own World, and The Poetic Journey by the time I had finished school. However, while pursuing my undergraduate degree in creative writing, I found myself gravitating towards fiction to such an extent that I quit writing poetry altogether - and it has been years since I have written a poem that I am satisfied with (ie meets my exacting self-imposed creative writing standards). In the meantime, a strange thing happened though. While I was busy writing poetry, I scarcely ever read poetry - actually, I had no desire to read poetry, thinking that it could not offer the same kind of pleasure or solace that prose could. Yet, as my poetry writing declined, I found myself turning to reading poetry and subsequently discovered many wonderful poets, economy of expression and mining layers of words able to induce that fireworks of appreciation that pages of prose cannot induce at times.
I must confess that in this internet age, I haven't been reading as much and my poetry consumption has declined greatly. However, chancing upon this wonderful poem by Jacob Polley, October, that my former creative writing tutor posted on facebook few days ago made me vividly remember the fierce power of poetry both in terms of reading - and creating it.
Before I introduce the poem to you, a word about moons. Taking an interest in astrology and having been bit of an astronomy geek, I am particularly fascinated by the moon - terms of a space object, its astrological influences, and as a cultural/aesthetic/visual reference point. I also love the idea that no matter what happens, the waxing and waning of the moon will remain that one constant in life. Having been born on a full moon, I am aware of the many myths and beliefs associated with it - but in the end, for me, there is nothing quite as gloriously beautiful as a full, round bronze moon embedded in the nocturnal sky.
Although a tide turns in the trees
the moon doesn't turn the leaves,
though chimneys smoke and blue concedes
to bluer home-time dark.
Though restless leaves submerge the park
in yellow shallows, ankle-deep,
and through each tree the moon shows, halved
or quartered or complete,
the moon's no fruit and has no seed,
and turns no tide of leaves on paths
that still persist but do not lead
where they did before dark.
Although the moonstruck pond stares hard
the moon looks elsewhere. Manholes breathe.
Each mind's a different, distant world
this same moon will not leave.
Source: Poetry (September 2006).