Monday, August 26, 2013


I spent last week with my family at a house on Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes. I tried to take photos of the moon each night, though none came close to the actual beauty of it, whether it was rising pinkly and huge behind the trees as we watched from our canoe, or yellow and partially obscured by clouds, or high and full, piercingly bright. Every now and then I try to paint the moon, either from looking or remembering, in the same way that every now and then I paint leaves, though with the moon I'm usually trying to grasp a specific moon-memory. 
Another near-nightly activity was toasting marshmallows over the fire, and I overheard my nephew mention making haikus about s'mores. He wandered away, but after I had eaten well beyond my fill, I stared into the sky and ended up scribbling down some haiku while my brother and sisters talked. "It's 5-7-5 syllables, right?" I asked no one. I read later that they don't necessarily have to be, but it was a useful limit to have. Here are six, each meant as a separate little image, but they go together. 

The moon a faint pale
marshmallow soft blur of light
in a cloudy sky
Impale a soft white
marshmallow upon a stick
held above the flames
Aiming for golden
toasty brown soft sweet
a rogue flame leaps and scorches
The blistered pillow
slid warm between two crackers
chocolate wedged in
Hands and mouth sticky
my dark hair smells like woodsmoke
the bag is empty
The night moon's lake-twin
white smudge melts into black
dark water like smoke

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