Two for Tuesday: November’s Innate Sadness

Luna Moth L Liwag

Luna Moth
by L. Liwag

                   

“Who can guess the luna’s sadness who lives so
briefly? Who can guess the impatience of stone
longing to be ground down, to be part again of
something livelier? Who can imagine in what
heaviness the rivers remember their original
clarity?”

~ Mary Oliver, from “The Moth, The Mountains, The Rivers”

                   

Nicholas Roerich Sadness paren Two in a Boat 1939 tempera on canvas

“Sadness (Two in a Boat)” (1939, tempera on canvas)
by Nicholas Roerich

Majority

Now you’d be three,
I said to myself,
seeing a child born
the same summer as you.

Now you’d be six,
or seven, or ten.
I watched you grow
in foreign bodies.

Leaping into a pool, all laughter,
or frowning over a keyboard,
but mostly just standing,
taller each time.

How splendid your most
mundane action seemed
in these joyful proxies.
I often held back tears.

Now you are twenty-one.
Finally, it makes sense
that you have moved away
into your own afterlife.

~ Dana Gioia

                    

Akseli Gallen-Kallela Lake Keitele 1905

“Lake Keitele” (1905)
by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

My Friend Says

When my friend says he’s
Walking closer to sadness
I know he means his own
Yet I also know precisely

What he means & he means
The gods he once admired
Because for so long they
Seemed to admire him

Have emptied their quivers
Into his flesh his very flesh
& he says this to me
Because he knows I too stood

In this exact moonlight
Stripped of every possibility
& divine protection
Except for a silver medallion

Of St. Sebastian hanging
Like a noose around my neck
& if the night that night was
A mirror then I believe so too

Was I the plain reflection
Of the long sadness of my friend

~ David St. John

                   

Music by Jessy Greene, “In Crimson”

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