Tonight’s first quarter moon has no associated Mary Oliver poem. It’s been lean times as far as using Mary’s book, Twelve Moons, as a lunar calendar lately. We’re nearing the end of the book now, with only a poem for this month’s full moon, “Worm Moon,” left to read. When the last quarter moon comes on March 26th, we’ll have returned to the beginning of the book, continuing the project there.
I suppose that the poems petering out toward the end is appropriate, perhaps even symbolic, although I have no idea whether or not Ms. Oliver intended it that way. We are in the lean months, the “killing” or “dying” time, the last, hardest month before the cycle of the seasons advances enough for food to return, for water to flow, for sap to rise.
After this last “lean” time, her poems increase, first covering each moon phase, then growing until I had to stuff some of them into the weeks between phases. The output becomes lush, if you will.
Considering Ms. Oliver’s affinity for, closeness and attention to nature, maybe she did plan it that way after all?