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“Lunar Eclipse Watching”, “Strolling Downhill with Sisyphus”, and “Devouring Eggs on Half Moon Island, Antarctica”

By Rosemary Dunn Moeller

Lunar Eclipse Watching

Watching the snow-colored disk by its own light,

I smiled back, waiting for the dimming as our earth’s

penumbral shadow touched the widest part: a threat.

Then began the light browning of snow-whiteness, as moon

appeared to go westward, the earth’s umbra moving faster.

Overtaking her.

Light brown turned reddish-rose then fully blood red.

My mind knew the pattern but deep in my consciousness

a few cells shivered, unsure. My ancient need

to predict disaster from signs awoke, then rested.

Flowing from bright red to iron rust, dried blood to darkness.

I breathed.

Just another inevitable menopause, signifying nothing more

than an end to fertility. Nothing I miss. Nothing I want.

I am a mother freed of this bodily chore.

Watching the eventual lightening from darkness

to dirt brown, blood-red, to pink, until a fire,

diamond-white on the side, signifies regeneration.

As I moved on from menopause, a new woman, under moon-glow.


Strolling Downhill with Sisyphus

By Rosemary Dunn Moeller

I interviewed Sisyphus, three-thousand-

year-old King of Corinth, eternal slave

to gods and their unforgiving rage, like

Sisyphus was a king. Nasty, in an eternal

way that looks like fate, but it’s just politics.

I started at the base with him, my questions on iPad,

and his boulder, to learn what wisdom he’d share.

Sisyphus was speechless. His task was everything.

Half-way up he stopped, leaning royally against rock,

and interviewed me, I think. “Do you notice we’re turning?

The smoothness of the trail? Have you been watching me?”

I looked back down the zig-zag across and up the mountain

we’d traveled, the path wide and smooth. “I like to push

towards the right, widening and smoothing the trail, not

grooving and gouging into the mountain, keeping it balanced,

my creation after all. You’re not asking the right questions.”

He turned, pushing the boulder but never sweating, uphill,

ignoring my interruptions. I imagined a descriptive interview

maybe being accepted. I’d failed to do enough homework.

Finally, the summit, less than a breath, down rolled the boulder

and I cried for Sisyphus, knowing what a murdering, vicious,

brute he was as a mortal; but, an eternal example of wasted time.

He kicked a clod off the peak down the other side, took my hand.

“Now we talk. I’m patron of slaves and servants, assembly-line

knick-knack and souvenir makers of the useless, pre-broken,

garbage. Low-wage, low-educated, unempowered workers.

Feeling sorry? Write about your sense of unfairness. A waste.

Now we walk.” On this side of his mountain, I saw a delta of trails.

“Look. I don’t sleep. I’ve taken this slope at every time of day,

every season of the year, every climate mirrored on earth. Once

I walked one step a day. Once ran straight down for fun. It’s

glorious, this mountain of mine, and my eternal duty is also to stroll

as I please, however twisted the trails around cedars and olive groves,

with all the flowers and birds, effortless, downhill, easy as water.

My punishment is to appreciate what others won’t,

to be unable to convince the powers of their poverty.”


Devouring Eggs on Half Moon Island, Antarctica

Confused by feelings of dying and feasting,

I regret the loss of a penguin’s egg to need.

Skuas lack formal beauty, docile eyes, the right coloring,

and smash eggs left on ledges for their lunches.

Not evil but opportunistic; skuas feed young, survive

raging Antarctic storms, fight for food. But the fish eating

penguin would have made me laugh and sigh.

I recognize life’s needs for all, but take sides,

not understanding why a smashed egg

eaten by skuas saddens me, why

one pulls me towards resignation,

the other towards revulsion.


About the Author

Rosemary Dunn Moeller has had poems published in Freshwater, Tenth Muse, Scurfpea Anthologies, Aurorean, South Dakota Magazine and many others. She and Lester, her husband, farm half the year in South Dakota and rest half the year on Cape Cod. Both views are of endless waving treeless expanses. They’ve traveled to all seven continents following birds and being driven by their need to explore. Rosemary writes to connect with others who share interests in images and ideas about our natural world. 


Poetry, The River

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