Today's poem is by Sydney Lea

Idiot Moon
                                —for Marie Cope (1965-2007)

The hard-edged candor of moon in her early rising
on a night in March engenders a thought—
something says Listen to reason.
Advice as old as the moon.
As old and trite.

Those hundreds today didn't sob in church over reason,
but rather unreason, infernal and pointless.
Meanwhile, the incense seething,
small manchild and widower stood
brave and straight.

It is—I've measured—a hundred and sixty feet
from our house to meadow's edge downhill
where tall grass soon enough will repeat
its annual growth and be killed.
I'll estimate

how high it has risen before I scythe it down.
But that will be eye. The ear can impose
no measures. The things it takes in
don't make a song of reason.
Such song would be sweet,

but owls chuckle grimly as snow-melt uncovers rodents'
tender tunnels through last fall's stubble.
A coyote whoops for knowing
how after an iced bitter season
the deer are weak,

especially the does, whose fawn-full bellies obtrude.
No wisdom at all in an idiot moon—
white bowl of platitude:
Do as I say, and not
as I do
, she prates

from her easy seat in her easy sky, and drops
random shadow all over, and if it weren't counter
to reason, I'd cast up rocks
or rattle a clip-full of bullets
at her smug fat face.

Children's choir director: she fell down dead
—and she was only 42—
and the children sang her to bed.
It makes no sense, unless
it's because of such fate,

because she left her sweet measures and all she loved,
that reason remains as mute as dirt.
Some are perhaps now moved
to philosophy—not I—
while animals cry,

and birds of prey.

Copyright © 2013 Sydney Lea All rights reserved
from I Was Thinking of Beauty
Four Way Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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