Last Days

By , October 19, 2011

If you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me this year, it’s time for another poem, Last Days.

Last Days is a very short poem, a little enigmatic, but with an autumnal feel to it. Here in deep autumn, we do seem to be seeing the last days of the season, as winter threatens to close in.

It’s hard not to anthropomorphize the assertion that oblivion offers second chances. It’s as true for humans as anything else in nature, but I think we have a hard time accepting that.

rainbow

A faint double rainbow during a brief sunny break during yesterday's gale (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

This poem is for the last quarter moon in my time zone. This morning when I went outside at 6:00 a.m., I found the moon hanging above the homestead, illuminating the door yard. Yesterday’s high winds have dissipated, but a steady swell continued to strike the beach, promising more wind today. I thought of that when I read Oliver’s line, “Now! booms the muscle of the wind.”

We certainly felt the muscle of the wind yesterday, Alaska Day, in a 40-knot southerly gale with much higher gusts. It poured rain for much of the day, but with the wind that high, we inevitably saw sunny breaks. And now, at least for a little while, we seem to have earned a clear morning.

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