The push the pull the moon’s sculpting hands

Its broad face spilling transparent

over lunar mountains

Full bright

but veiled by cloud’s chattering


yet still felt in the marrow


With a tactile sensing

for the peaks and dark hollows

My blood its own compass

I map the edge of the sea

as the tide recedes

filling the carved pools as it leaves


The clouds drift away in their own mystery

as the moon glides free

in luminous ascending

and I sway as a puppet in a shadow play

bathed in luminous manna



Pencil sketch and poetry: j.h.white

note: a photo attributed to Joshua Black Wilkins was the inspiration for the sketch. ( I was unable to verify the source however)


40 responses

  1. the poem shows that the moon not only affects the oceanic tides, but the ebbs and flows within us. that is such an interesting thought, and it just seems right. this post is another striking example of the interplay between the graphic and poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Light,
    dappled among graphite trails, lunar images fulgent,
    the light in the bone and between your words.
    the fingers in your powerful drawing opening the mouth,
    you opening to the moon, as sculpture, as marionette.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A beautiful poetic response, John, thank you!…the moon has her champions! And now I know what fulgent means and I wonder if you chose this word because of your love of all things Italian? “fulgent luna”


    • Synchronicity? I was dazzled reading your latest Brian. The moon has been busy. I have to include a link here. Loved the whole poem but these lines blew me away…..

      “Full, bolus moon
      half-hid through tracing paper,
      your diffuse smile barely
      skims me.

      I pray for animal eyes,
      better adapted to night,
      where you always are.”

      (full poem)

      The sway and swoop? Yup…not sure where it’s coming from but I’ll best go with it for now.


        • Years later Brian…indeed! Hello! Time is showing itself to be quite the slippery partner of all that appears to be substantial, as bringing me here to this post, this poem, the conversations we all engaged in with each other, turns out to be particularly relevant to a puzzle I’ve been working out in a new painting I am working on. So thank you in more ways than one Brian. Being directed here opened a door for me… as if I wrote this for this moment. Hilarious and wonderful! I hope you have been well. It is a labyrinthine path I have to follow to be able to access the dashboard of my site here. And the Reader disappeared a few years ago. But somehow your comment reached me. And I will look into Tanizaki’s book. I have the “warm fuzzies” this morning Brian, the heartfelt memories of my WordPress days. That spark is clearly still resonant, dear friend!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Richard. I think this is the first time I’ve been inspired by an image to write in poetic form. To me this image was so worth it. I’m glad it worked …but it was a real effort. Funny thing…process.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The pull of the Moon, women’s cycles, blood, the hollow womb…

        A part of a song by Richard Thompson, sung often by his ex wife, The Dimming of the Day:

        This old house is falling down around my ears
        I’m drowning in the river of my tears
        When all my will is gone you hold me sway
        I need you at the dimming of the day

        You pulled me like the moon pulls on the tide
        You know just where I keep my better side

        What days have come to keep us far apart
        A broken promise or a broken heart
        Now all the bonny birds have wheeled away
        I need you at the dimming of the day

        Come the night you’re only what I want
        Come the night you could be my confidant

        I see you on the street in company
        Why don’t you come and ease your mind with me
        I’m living for the night we steal away
        I need you at the dimming of the day
        I need you at the dimming of the day

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Ray….Funny you should choose this song. I have a history with the Thompson’s music that goes way back. At any rate, all one has to do is work at night in a restaurant to witness how the moon sculpts the “clay” of our emotions. It may be more obvious to women, with our natural rhythms, but I don’t see the moon as being selective. And I know the moon has a certain fondness for poets!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the sketch- looks like she’s swallowed the light. The imagery of clouds chattering is great. Well, I could quote every bit of the poem and say it’s great. Lovely. I was surprised when you made the comment about your open mic events and being amongst published poems. I had assumed you were too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny you should pick this poem….this is one of the only poems I really labored over never quite catching a rhythm on the page that I liked. It always looked a bit stilted to me. But it is one that is fun to read out loud because it can be read with a lot of old fashioned drama….the push the pull the moon’s sculpting hands. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

        • Actually drawing the picture acted as a prompt and it was the first time I’d ever worked with a prompt. I wrote a poem fairly quickly that I really liked and then my computer’s hard drive tanked and I lost that first draft. Trying to recapture the initial intuitive insight proved more difficult than I imagined…oddly like copying the work of someone else. I’m glad you like it. Maybe now I can lose the angst of re-writing it and feeling it never came up to that first attempt…

          Liked by 1 person

          • I can totally relate to that. There is something about writing when inspiration strikes- it is hard to replicate with a more ‘thinking’ approach. Glad to have helped to release your angst. I’ll email you the address for the cheque 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! It’s great to read aloud. I read about 5 books a day for my baby and love dramatising the words and images. I’m always a little torn when he chooses the books I don’t like the sound of. This poem is great to read aloud. I even swayed with that line, and the ‘glide’ invited me to make it sound as though that’s what the word did, leaving my lips. Did you do this one at the open mic?

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s such great practice in finding your own voice reading! I read to my grand kids all the time since I watch them a few days during the week while my daughter is working. It’s a great way to experiment, hamming it up for them, and I think it has made me more comfortable at the open mics….once I am actually reading that is. Haven’t read this one yet…soon though!

          Liked by 1 person

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