Friday, January 09, 2009

759. Stern Visage - Nina Nyhart

(after a painting my Paul Klee)

A man decides he doesn't want to die, he wants
to take a trip. It might be a long trip, he thinks,
so I'd better go alone. Or it might be short,
so I'll take my wife. They board the sailboat,
but at the first port of call his wife jumps ship.

It might be a long trip, he thinks, I'll get
another wife. He meets a woman, falls in love,
they marry, but soon she says she only wanted him
for fun, not this sailing stuff, and they part
at the next stop. The man thinks, The hell

with women. It might be a short trip or it might
be long. I'll take this little green moon
with me. It's portable, sheds light, and smiles
mysteriously. The moon seems contented and
the man keeps on sailing, So far, he reflects,

it's been a bit of a lark. But pretty soon
he begins to feel tired, older, a lot older.
The man thinks maybe the moon will keep him young.
Hey there, Little Moon, he says. The moon says
nothing. The man begins to feel desperate and

throws the moon overboard. But the moon bounces
back and shines its pale green light on him
The sea is growing rough and the moon remains
silent. It's the middle of the night, cold, bell
buoys clanging. Serious business, the man thinks.

The trip might be too long, it might be better
to cut it short. Who's responsible, anyway?
He grabs the moon, shakes it. There, Old Moon-face,
now what do you say? The moon says nothing.
But the man notices the moon is smaller than before.

About half its original size. The trip might be
long, the man thinks, or it might be short . . .
Lean up against me, Dear one, Shiny one, he says.