Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Poem by Lisa Reade

Photo Edward S. Gault

Virgin Mary Mother Moon

I can seduce
The shattering of chandeliers.

I will prove it to you.

The moon’s pregnancy
Is measured in quarters, not trimesters.

Stay awake
And you will see that she is no longer
A virgin cloaked in the blue mantle of twilight.

In this version of herself
She is a waning crescent,
No longer wailing for the child glowing inside her
Like stilted sorrow.

She is hungry.

She staggers home starving,
Drunk off discipline,
Barely able to stand
The glass shards like daggers
Stabbing the soft flesh of her rounded sides.

The night tells her she must eat
Enough to feed
Herself and her light.

That she must save enough tears
To quench his parched lips
Which thirst for the throes of her pain,
Growing bigger and stronger
As she devours the darkness in greedy forkfuls.

He is born at sunset.

She delivers him alone,
Her sobs convulsing in contractions
That grow closer and closer together
Till they clutch her and she can barely breathe.

She nurses him with milk churned into cream
That melts the tinted air
Like butter on a white-hot baked potato.

Wait for her at the window.
Taste her salted breath on your shadow.

Tell yourself that you have no need
Of forgiveness.

Grace regresses with years
The way the tide pulls back,
Retracting its offering to the shore.

I have spent the auguries of my adolescence
Chanting breathless incantations,
Pumping my heart
Full of wild dreams,
And spilling
And emptying
Everything out of me
So that I could hold more

Wisdom in my hands,
Kneeling and praying in the holiest sand.

I have lent the last charred Novembers
Of my childhood
To the worshipping of little plastic demi-gods
I didn’t deserve.

I buried bouquets of roses in the sand
Wearing only a crown of thorns,
Getting pricked
And getting hurt,
And drawing blood
To make pretty red pictures
In the dirt.

Have you heard?

I like the way I am.

I like this process,
This method that is me,
I like the searching and wandering
To find answers that graze the surface
And leave me digging for more

Answers and a big hole
Full of bigger questions
That evade the enormous,
Unsolvable riddle of the universe,
That address the sea’s babbling commentary
With a directness that astounds me.

You may not believe me,
But let me tell you something.

When your fingers hit the keys,
Your eyes composing those elegant requiems
That lodged the most immaculate crystals in my throat,
I sang with every last color that was in me.

True or False:

A lunar eclipse is one way of looking at a full moon.

It would seem that there is something perfect
In her self-absorption.

The way self-loathing is the impetus
For all change,
A fierce determination to achieve betterment,
A refusal to remain the same,
The scathing voice
That mocks the here and now
And clings always to the new, the new

The new moon
Whose sliver suggests a turning stage,
Inviting your feet to perform
A clumsy tap dance on her cavernous craters,

Or these words,
Which are not rivals
But points of departure linked together
For the imagination
Which sees always the same sky
But each time demands new wings.