Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Poetry for the Esbat: SPROING! Moon. 2015

Tonight's Moon. Placidly watching the SPROING from a distance.
Tonight's Moon. Placidly watching the SPROING from a distance.

The Sun's sweeping arc shifts rapidly, severely --
it will make mayhem for as long as this lasts.
The Night has taken to dragging her starry cloak elsewhere,
while Lady Moon slides about in the pallid sky, ever patient, 
I like to think she is smoothing creases in her shift,
awaiting her turn...

The days are long, long, longSPROING! The winding-up of crazed Alaskan summer antics begins NOW (or perhaps yesterday, while you were distracted). Human kind is frenetic. The signs are clear: two neighbor's trucks totaled in as many days. Countless other accidents in the nearby streets. You might think there was snow, but nay, it is Spring! that has sprung in the Last Frontier & the people are already quite mad. The same applies to the rest of the lot -- children of Flora & Fauna -- as well. Everyone clamoring under the Sun.

Now the birds, they continue their songs past the witching hour.
Soon, the plants will grow at night. 

We are thrumming -- a hive, alive!

Which is why I get SO much glee from knowing there is this flower out there somewhere who dances to the beat of the subtler Lunar rhythm... Ephedra foeminia.

"Two researchers from Stockholm University accidentally discovered that pollination in a species of Ephedra – the gymnosperm Ephedra foeminea is correlated with the full moon. The finding is a first for the plant world. No other plant has been found to wait for the full moon to activate pollinators, including Ephedra distachya, a very close relative, which relies on wind to carry its pollen.
The plant is pollinated by nocturnal flies and moths, and these insects may utilize the moon to navigate in the dark. Further, the spectacular reflection of the full moon’s light in the pollination drops glistening at the top of the plant probably attracts the insects to the cones." -- Plant’s pollination synchronized with full moon, EarthSky

Pollination in the Gnetales.  Image credit: Rydin & Bolinder,  Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales)
Pollination in the Gnetales. E. feminine at right.
Image credit: Rydin & Bolinder,
Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales)

(If you are a source material kind of critter, see their paper in Biology Letters: Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales).)

I prefer this approach -- courting moths & harmonizing with a gentle, nocturnal rhythm. Not that I dismiss the unwavering heat of the summer Sun. Oh, I do relish every moment under those rays! (And if they find me in a yawning desert, even better.) But there is a stillness, a mindfulness that arrives with the Moon & this is the sacred-secret (also the secret-sacred). Quiet, it is much more than the absence of sound. 

This brings me to the poetry for this Esbat, a quiet-flower-Moon poem by performer, writer, director, poet, and artist Bernard Bragg. In the video below, Bragg translates the poem “Flowers and Moonlight on the Spring Water” into what he has coined “Rarefied ASL.” This piece is simply brilliant. I have included two versions, the first being my personal favourite. The second includes an introduction by Mr. Bragg & subtitles, not that one would need them given his unambiguous & sincere rendering. 

To read the original inspiration for this work, an ancient poem by Zhang Ruoxw Chang Jo-Hsü (c. 660-c.720), visit here: "Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night." (Here for hànzì.)

Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.

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