Lunar New Year
In honour of January’s lunar new year, and one week previous to that the wolf moon, here is Andrew Crocker’s newest painting, a homage to the orb that keeps our little blue globe stable. And a perfect opportunity to revisit a classic by Ted Hughes…
A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket –
And you listening.
A spider’s web, tense for the dew’s touch.
A pail lifted, still and brimming – mirror
To tempt a first star to a tremor.
Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm
wreaths of breath –
A dark river of blood, many boulders,
Balancing unspilled milk.
‘Moon!’ you cry suddenly, ‘Moon! Moon!’
The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work
That points at him amazed.
-The Full Moon and little Frieda by Ted Hughes
Mark Johnston’s landscapes suggest much wilder atmospheric conditions:
Bobbie Russon’s painting ‘Safe’ is a shelter from the East Sussex storm:
In this lunar year of the rabbit, Mary Oliver has words….
it can’t float away.
And the rain, everybody’s brother,
won’t help. And the wind all these days
flying like ten crazy sisters everywhere
can’t seem to do a thing. No one but me,
and my hands like fire,
to lift him to a last burrow. I wait
days, while the body opens and begins
to boil. I remember
the leaping in the moonlight, and can’t touch it,
wanting it miraculously to heal
and spring up
joyful. But finally
I do. And the day after I’ve shoveled
the earth over, in a field nearby
I find a small bird’s nest lined pale
and silvery and the chicks—
are you listening, death?—warm in the rabbit’s fur.
The snowdrops are out, and my Cornish friends speak of narcissi and daffodils in flower. Spring is just around the corner…
Pale as the moon I lie
In fruitless fantasy
Lost is the image that appeared to me
Lost in the expanding light’s lucidity
But now through mist-dark landscape, vapor, cloud,
The flying nightingale sings aloud.
-The Witching Hour by Marya Zaturenska
Thank you for reading,