In Japan

The moon went to a

Moon-gazing party.

All she had to do

Was glide & preen

Like a mirror;

Then chill still as fish-egg.

In the cocoon-skin house

Tea was served,

And sliced persimmon

Thin as glass.

Then people slippered out

The paper door

To stand in the glistening waterfall

Of our desert moon.

People looked at her

And felt their hearts bow.

They wore their best kimonos

And said nothing;

And whatever worms

Were in their hearts

From days of grumpy living

The moon went in

Like a root canal

And relieved them


(The full relief was still to come.)

There were paths and little bridges

And bent trees

Short as people.

Anyone could stop anywhere

And just stand with face

Upturned for the moon’s

Kiss which pours mystery

As a lover’s does fire.

Moon – face-to-face with us

Over the cool tract of

Shining distance –

Blazoning in the lifted forehead;

Held in the throat like