Fickle Moon

Plum blossoms fall in a cool moonglow,
and the calico cat cleans alone
in the delicate shower,
thinking, “How silly is this want of words,
where so much moonglow goes to waste.
She’s in the house, behind the curtains,
can’t see me awash in falling petals,
her face stuck in a moonless book.”

Another moon passes with more moonglow.
The ocean sky fills with gleeful moons.
The cat bats at the sweeping beams,
catching moon drops in her paws,
wiping moon balm across her lips and whiskers,
chasing yellow shadows in her tea garden,
thinking, “The television emits no moonglow,”
and cherry blossoms fall.

Another moon passes, and again she misses the moonglow.
Another moon passes, no moonglow for her.
The ocean sky rises and falls with full moons,
but no moonbeams come her way,
no moon drops fill her hands,
no moon balm wipes her lips.
The cat’s tail brushes daylily flowers,
and she bathes in a lavender mulch.

A loony moon glowers along,
heavy with a surplus of moonglow.
“Here, Kitty…Here, Kitty, Kitty…,”
but no moonbeams come her way,
no moon drops wet her palms,
no moon balm soaks her lips,
and no cat graces her garden,
ripe plums soon falling.


  1. katherine frances says:

    seems a bit sad in the end.. but i like it :)


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Hey, Kathy! Thanks for reading and comment. Well, yes, a bit sad, the sad moon, but the merry sun is on his way!


  2. Love that first line … Plum blossoms fall in a cool moonglow
    And it reminds me of the beginning lines of one of my poems … plump instead of plum :)

    Plump raindrops on skylight
    drum in repetitive non-rhythm,
    pale beams erase the day,
    moon drops through glass
    that is no glass, glass-moon
    falls to moon-glass
    behind my eye …


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Yes, Ashen, very lovely, and the plum and moon images resound in Li Po (Li Bai), where we find solitude, water and wine, springs alone. Check out that second link. And here is a wonderful, short poem about rain by Langston Hughes, behind a short video in his voice. These are a kind of nature writing, observing oneself in one’s own solitude – ergo the cat. Hey, just thought of that, good name for a cat, Ergo. I like, btw, the rhyme in plump drum, with the p for drum coming later in repetitive. Oh, and the song Moonglow. So many moons, so few nights.


      1. Lovely, Li Po …
        The rain, I love too, at times. Right now I’d happily send it to where it’s needed :)


        1. Joe Linker says:

          Yes, extreme weather, climate change. Bosnia under water recent on LRB Blog.


  3. bristlehound says:

    Definitely not ignoring this Joe, just need time to absorb. Cheers.B


    1. Joe Linker says:

      No worries, B. Thx for stopping by again.

      “Fickle” is sometimes attributed to Shakespeare in “Romeo and Juliet,” but the word he uses in the referenced context is “inconstant”:

      Romeo and Juliet (2.2.114) JULIET: O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon, / That monthly changes in her circled orb, / Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

      “Fickle” is a common Shakespeare word, though. Again from R&J:

      Romeo and Juliet (3.5.60) JULIET: O Fortune, Fortune, all men call thee fickle. / If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him / That is renowned for faith? Be fickle, Fortune, / For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long, / But send him back.

      Folger Digital Texts, Folger Shakespeare Library, a great resource, uses the Creative Commons license.

      Not that “Fickle Moon” suggests Shakespeare. He seems though to have had some strong thoughts on the idea:
      Henry V (3.6.25) PISTOL: Bardolph, a soldier firm and sound of heart and of buxom valor, hath,

      by cruel Fate and giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel, that goddess blind, that stands upon the rolling restless stone

      Good grief!


  4. Great poem! I’ve enjoyed watching our cat chasing the cherry blossom in the breeze….


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Yes, and we should be out there this morning, but alas, we awoke to rain. Thanks for stopping by for the poem!


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