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Laughing

at the Moon

poems of life, memory, and whimsy

ELIZABETH EASTER

Laughing at the Moon

Copyright © 2016 by Elizabeth Easter

Cover: Keanan Brand / Elizabeth Easter

Background Photo: salt flats at sunset, Utah (KB, 2013)

Author Photo: JME (2015)

Photo with Author Note: EE (2011)

Hymn quoted on page 9:

Crown Him With Many Crowns” (Matthew Bridges, 1851)

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval without permission in writing from the author.

ISBN-13: 978-1-1523924059

ISBN-10: 1523924055

Penworthy Press

www.penworthypress.com

Printed in U.S.A

DEDICATION

To all those who may not have been

as I remembered you;

who may have been better,

wiser, kinder, stronger;

who may have been as lost,

as lonely, and as wounded as I.

May your troubles turn to treasures,

and may you gain a measure

of peace, wisdom, and even joy,

so the ‘us’ we were then

would be pleasantly surprised

by the ‘us’ we are now.

Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Quiet

Troubles

Internal Expanse

Weedkiller

Wolf

Wine

Indomitable

Bite

Love

Flood

Secret

If

Laughing at the Moon

Companion

Paco

Travels

Vagabond

Fort Tuthill

Retrospect

Ruins

Sextet

Whimsy

Blue Chair

Seamstress

Dawn

Worlds Apart

Sir Gallivan and the Dragon

Family

Immigrant

Elsie's Photograph

Mother'sDay

Three Nieces

Night Light

Author's Note

Quiet

a prose poem

I once imagined the ideal place to write: a view of nature, a pleasant chuckling stream, the song of birds, and just enough sun to be bright and breeze to be cool.

My father and I resuscitated a dying house, strengthening its bones and smoothing its skin, but we let honeysuckle and drooping vines overtake the fence—a green beard to veil a block wall. South and west windows lent their benedictions, their light gracing a broad, dark desk wrapping its wooden arms around me, embracing the words.

Almost perfect.

Days I sat at that desk, stared out those windows, and never wrote. Quiet around me, there was no quiet in me.

Peace is more than silence, and rest more than idyll. Turbulent souls weave cacophony.

The house and the desk and the view now belong to others, and I write most often in the stillness—in an eddy of calm in the frenzy of a café rush, in the wind-battered dormer window of an attic, at a rustic table under the pines.

And the words come dancing.

“Awake, my soul, and sing.”

Internal Expanse

You smile at me

from far away—

a chasm unintended

dividing us efficiently

like files in a box.

My hand can span the distance,

but there’s no bridge to you.

Alone we stand

on separate shores,

a current deep and wide

eroding, mocking, as it goes—

and we walk side by side.


Weedkiller

She is a choking vine,

twining my limbs,

wrapping my throat,

squeezing my strength

as if I am the soil that succors her roots.

I was, at first,

a sympathetic, willing trellis,

thinking my role temporary,

like a stake to guide a sapling,

but she will not let go.

Sun and shade equally strike,

yet she claims the lesser share,

complaining her weakness, her lack,

her compromise—

shadowing me as she seeks more light.

I am dying,

throttled by her need.

Freeing my hand, I tear at her tendrils—

broken stems bleed on my skin.

Remnants of her cling to my clothes.

She cries her shock and anger,

pleas the length of friendship,

but I reck not her arguments,

turn from her tilting form,

and say, “Stand.”




Wolf

Night—

palpable as a caress—

brings to me faces,


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