Two half moons

I’m sending you images of the moon. It’s dipping and diving between black clouds. I’m looking at a river. I’m telling you about a bridge that crosses the river. I’m telling you about the darkness on the other side.

But there are lights on the bridge that crosses the river. The lights on the river are floating stars. And the moon’s a half moon, leaning forward. Its reflection floats on its back, drifting in the river, surrounded by stars.

You think about the moon. A pond becomes a river. You think about lights like floating stars and you think about the moon. And then it appears, the very same moon, come to visit, at my behest.
***
Who would have thought you could photograph this moon?

half_moon_for_email1

Who would have thought it could inspire such a poem?

When you see
the half moon
you can know

at the other end
of the lens
was me

thinking of you,
seeing it,
just as you do.

***

Half moon here. Half moon there. Together they equal a moon bright and full.

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Moon river…

I’ve thought of this song from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” while marveling at the shimmering sight of a yellow full moon reflected in the Hudson River where it widens at the Tappan Zee. I’ve thought of it while driving along a New Jersey highway with a half moon hanging low in the west like a beacon. I’ve thought of it while sitting alongside a New England pond when the moonbeam on the water looked like the great white way to heaven. Tonight there’s the thin crescent of moon and I’m just thinking about it…and feeling it…and wondering…where exactly is the Moon River?

Peak performances atop Mount St. Angelo

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts...my studio is at the far left

The view of the Blue Ridge Mountains was spectacular. The setting, high on a hilltop called Mount St. Angelo, set way off the highway connecting Lynchburg, Va., and Charlottesville, Va., was perfect, complete with a bluebird and cardinal who appeared outside my studio window every morning to flit and flutter in the first weekend’s snow, complete with a freight train which rolled through the valley every few hours (complete with beautifully haunting train whistle in the silent moonlit Virginia night).

And I managed (despite those happy distractions — and many more, including one or two that were even more happily distracting) to add a big chunk of words (more than 10,000 words during my two-week stay) to my novel-in-progress, “City of Gracious Living.”

Even though I’m glad I left just in time to avoid the devastating snow storm which paralyzed that part of the country, I wish I could have stayed forever in my beautiful little studio at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Two of the highlights of my visit: Encounters with artist Melora Griffis and jazz trombonist J. Walter Hawkes. Melora’s paintings are provocative, haunting and beautiful. Plus she’s nice, interesting, smart and unpretentious. Walter’s soulful and skillful solo jazz and blues performances on the trombone and the ukulele are a sight to behold and sound to be heard in person to truly appreciate his rare talent.

The highlight among highlights for me during my stay with a few dozen other VCCA “fellows” had to be the next-to-last-night of my stay, when Walter and I collaborated on a reading/performance, with me reading a chapter from “City of Gracious Living” and a chapter of another of my novels, “Half Moon,” while Walter expertly improvised jazz and blues and big-band riffs before, during and after my readings. It was a true honor and a certifiable thrill.

Thanks, Walter. Thanks, Melora. Thanks to all of the other talented artists and writers I met at the VCCA — sharing excellent meals and excellent conversations. And thanks most of all to the VCCA for giving me such a wonderful two weeks.

Two half moons

I’m sending you images of the moon. It’s dipping and diving between black clouds. I’m looking at a river. I’m telling you about a bridge that crosses the river. I’m telling you about the darkness on the other side.

But there are lights on the bridge that crosses the river. The lights on the river are floating stars. And the moon’s a half moon, leaning forward. Its reflection floats on its back, drifting in the river, surrounded by stars.

You think about the moon. A pond becomes a river. You think about lights like floating stars and you think about the moon. And then it appears, the very same moon, come to visit, at my behest.
***
Who would have thought you could photograph this moon?

half_moon_for_email1

Who would have thought it could inspire such a poem?

When you see
the half moon
you can know

at the other end
of the lens
was me

thinking of you,
seeing it,
just as you do.

***
Goodnight, goodnight, and I’m lulled to sleep by moon songs tonight — “Moon River” and “Moondance” and “Mr. Moonlight” and a song called “Song About the Moon:”
If you want to write a song about the heart
Think about the moon before you start

This was my song about the heart, which I wrote after I stopped to tell you about the river, after I stopped to show you the moon.

There’s a half moon here and a half moon there, and together they equal a moon bright and full.