Spirit Moon

Spirit Moon explodes in me and liquifies the dark side of my heart

I witnessed the full moon shatter,
my dreamtide waxing.

I woke to my cat’s claws grating on the window screen.
I thought my skull was exfoliating,
petrified layers breaking clean.

As I have begun to walk this new path,
long-forgotten remnants have surfaced from my past.

Since the spirit broke into my life,
those things I’d carefully placed in deep storage
dart like bats beneath the light.
Released from the dark side of my skull,
they puddle into blue-black oil,
human energy, compressed and aged.

When the moon blew up, I first thought
the spirit was just throwing rocks
at my broken dreams.
But through the moon, the spirit jerked
my night psyche up by the roots.

I was waiting for a door to open
when suddenly I realized I am that door
and I am open.

The crags and barnacles I have worn
are falling away.
But I ask forgiveness from those whose souls were torn
as they stretched to waken me
through the jagged moonscapes.

Bill Smith

By Bill Smith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bill2smith/


  1. Deep and dark, Bill. But the poem is ultimately about coming into the light, painful as it seems.
    Parts of the poem have a syllabic rythm and other parts do not, are more prose like. Is this intentional? Does the change represent a change in emphasis in the narrative? And one more question: does the format of your poem actually appear as Holger has reproduced it?

  2. Thanks for the close reading, Kevin. The sounds, rhythms, structure are just based on what sounds and feels right to me. Of course, I’m analyzing it after the fact, but I’ll point out a few things.
    Look at the first 5 lines. Lines 2, 3, 4 and 5 end in similar sounds: waxing, screen, exfoliating, and clean. There’s a “grating” quality and a tightness. Something has to give.
    I try to make the structure, sounds and rhythm fit the meaning, although sometimes, they’re meant to startle or trip the reader.
    Notice how many plosives, consonants that stop the tongue (p,t,d,k), are in “…spirit jerked/ my night psyche up by the roots.” To me, it feels like you’re grabbing, pulling, with a release.
    Most of these choices are made unconsciously when I write, then more consciously when I edit. For me, the main question is, Does it work in the context?
    Yes, the format is as written.
    Thanks for the questions!

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