Two for Tuesday: Denise Levertov
At sixteen I believed the moonlight
could change me if it would.
I moved my head
on the pillow, even moved my bed
as the moon slowly
crossed the open lattice.
I wanted beauty, a dangerous
gleam of steel, my body thinner,
my pale face paler.
diligently, as others sunbathe.
But the moon’s unsmiling stare
kept me awake. Mornings,
I was flushed and cross.
It was on dark nights of deep sleep
that I dreamed the most, sunk in the well,
and woke rested, and if not beautiful,
filled with some other power.
Wanting The Moon
Not the moon. A flower
on the other side of the water.
The water sweeps past in flood,
dragging a whole tree by the hair,
a barn, a bridge. The flower
sings on the far bank.
Not a flower, a bird calling
hidden among the darkest trees, music
over the water, making a silence
out of the brown folds of the river’s cloak.
The moon. No, a young man walking
under the trees. There are lanterns
among the leaves.
Tender, wise, merry,
his face is awake with its own light,
I see it across the water as if close up.
A jester. The music rings from his bells,
gravely, a tune of sorrow,
I dance to it on my riverbank.
Music by Mooncake, “Cast the Route”