Poems of the Ruby Moon

Poems of the Ruby Moon

On Oct. 6, we held our fourth Tweet-Party, or poetry jam, on Twitter. Seven of us participated. The first three jams were similar in how they developed; we veered in a different direction with this fourth one. What was different was that some of us followed the prompts from @tspoetry, and some of us didn’t. No one was consistently consistent in following or not following; we’d get caught up in the words of a particular section and stay there, continuing to tweet for that section, or we’d move on to the next prompt. Or do both, and simultaneously.

It’s great fun. But to edit all of the tweets into some kind of coherent whole? Well, let’s say that was a challenge. (Remember the Wall Street Journal’s definition of a challenge – a problem with no known solution.)

So it’s taken some time, some parsing, some rearranging, considerable rereading and, finally, the understanding that this wasn’t one poem but more like 12. And there did turn out to be a thematic link running through most of the contributions – the idea of a ruby moon. So, below are the 12 poems of the ruby moon, tweeted first on Twitter and then edited for publication here as something approaching a coherent whole. I hope.

All of the prompts you see below in quotations by @tspoetry are lines from Wendell Berry’s Given: Poem (2006).

The Poems of the Ruby Moon
By @llbarkat, @poemsandprayers, @TchrEric, @jazzvigil, @doallas, @necessarywords and @gyoung9751; facilitated by @tspoetry

Behind the Wallpaper

@tspoetry: “We may be living on an atom/in somebody’s wallpaper.”

Peel it away
With a light touch.
Stories within walls
Bid us tell tales, and tall ones,
Tall Tales a Poe never wrote
So darkly
From a hand undone
By drink
On the streets of Baltimore,
A falling down
Caught between a wall
And a hard place.
Feeling all alone,
In need of comfort of tea and onion rings a bell
“Call me if you hear/anything…”
He is as twisted as his tie
And she,
Her twists of another
She was laid off and he on a lay over
At the news of one more layoff,
Ineptly done,
Left cold
On city sidewalk,
A Poe nevermore
To ring the bell.
Forsake me not,
Despite the news,
The gods,
The mantras preaching,
Within the walls,
Peeling wallpaper back,
Even the laid off
Have dreams.

River of Light of the Ruby Moon

The dust motes float
And swerve in the sunbeam.
The sunbeam filters,
Dust drops into pools
Of light.
Motes and cracks,
Mortar breaks,
Wedged between beams.
Smoky aroma fill the air
Gold flecks sifted out
From river of light.
Light pools into golden flecks of mirth
Dancing on walls.
Clouds of smoke pass over the ruby moon.
Window road,
The galaxy peers in on us.
Light of moon,
Yellow white and ruby red,
Light appearing,
Peering light,
Filtering into darkness.
Moth caught flutter;
Dusty wings.
Moon’s ruby-rubbed
And shadowed light
Cast my reflection back to me,
The shadowed light reflection
Showing not what I want but
Giving what I need.

Ripe Pears
You drizzle golden honey over ripe pears
Ruby moon,
May apples,
And you beneath
This galaxy, peering
Light at me.
Heads nod,
Begging forgiveness.
She sips from the cup of corporate blood.
Drizzle me ripe
With honeyed tongue.
I walk in darkness,
Waiting to be undone.
For pears
Over ripe do leave
A scent best left behind in pool of darkened honey.
Pears, alone:
What could be sadder?
Maybe a wedge,
Barely edged
Into the crack
Of a weathered
You, unnamed, who drizzle
From your perch
The drops of corporate blood,
Do cap your cup too late.
You pull your cup
Too close,
Spilling ruby red blood onto the moon.
Ruby tweet,
Bloody invitation,
To seat your passion.

Sleeping Dog

Sometimes I’m as happy
As a sleeping dog,
A sleeping dog
Awakened by light escaping the dark,
Filtering into eyes.
A dog alone,
A bell,
The comfort of tea
Rringing me
To attention.
I pat his head
And smile, sigh,
As a sleeping dog,
Dozing on a quiet sunlit stair
While the blossoms of cherry
Offer the scents of spring.
The sleeping dog
Does wake;
Aroma strikes the trail he follows,
The scent of blood-red blood
As magic
Turns this carnival of words.

Umbrellas Up
Umbrellas up,
When turned upside down,
Can catch mayapples
As a bucket catches rain.
May rain,
May flowers
Smear the colour across the sky;
Irises open
Stung by
Rising motes.
The night is long,
The stay may be short
But we shall enjoy this time
Of Mayapples and tea.

The Pressure of Words
@tspoetry: “Shall I teach/you the way/of a blossom/the way of a cherry/twisting beneath/her stem/shall I”

Into a path we know not
How to follow,
He feels the pressure of the words on his fingertips.
Eyes eased of scrum of night
Of trails too long and rocky
Dreams disturbed by moon’s bright flash
In woods.
Smears my face,
Iris tremble-ache
Does break the trembling face
In the mirror,
And rain-tears send the heart skidding
Where no bell rings
Morning’s sweet call.
The touch of ivory keys
Pleases the thought less
Than curved fingers,
Fingers curved around notes,
Notes stuck to fingers
To forsake the getting.
And so the wait
And yet all possibilities.
I accept the ivory pressure
The curved touch,
If only to ease this moonless
Path, disturbed
And empty woods,
Fingers on the board,
Music of the Gods released,
Pleasing to the soul;
Cacophony of sound,
Improvisational delights.
Words’ pressure builds till hands find cause
To type the mantra his therapist recommended
In a strait.
The songs they sing in empty woods,
The notes they play inside their heads,
Ivory pressure,
Perhaps the notes of pianos played over and over,
No merrily piper leads.

Song of the Wild Geese
: “How fine to hear through the music/the cries of wild geese on the river.”

But the song beckons,
Not from the main
But to the undisturbed, quiet side
Pulled by the soul of Frost,
Returns the wing,
The cry,
The song passing.

The Key to the Lock

tspoetry: “He found a good farrier’s knife,/an awl, a key to a lock/that would no longer open”

The lock lost in the woods,
The key lost in the plain.
Inside their heads are clues to woods
Where dwells the man,
Laid off,
Howling at the ruby face of moon.
Frost my soul
With your song,
Your cry like a
Key, unlock me.
Unlock thee not;
I know not
Who goes by the name of
My soul no icy sole
For thee to use on me.
The lock clicks,
The spring opens
Into a new heart.
Awl all leaves me shot through
With pinholes
With which to thread the soles of souls
Left empty
As locks without keys
No longer work
The thread from which good farrier’s knift
Is slung.
Farrier’s knife
Pinned the lady
Down ’til she cried.
Let me dance
A dance for you.
Sit with me on the grass and feed me sweet, sweet lies.
Tis all sweet lies
Our friend does tell,
No corporate blood
Did run
Through his steely heart.

The Fiddler’s Dance
tspoetry: “Do you remember how we danced/And how the fiddler played?”

We danced with life
Throbbing in our veins,
Love pulsing in our hearts.
My hand
Enfolded yours,
Your smile
Enfolded mine.
Like a pinhole,
How am
I supposed to
Ease my way
Into your heart?
She was no lady, her locks of hair undone
The fiddlers haunting melodies
Gave rise to memories,
Dances danced,
Lovers loved
By dancing,
do you hear?
By dancing in the ruby light of moon
Among the shadows
Where smile might stay on chaste lips to touch,
To reach into the eye of beauty
To see the holiness of the night
To touch.
We get caught up in hands
And smiles,
Forgetting the business
We first did come,
To bid
Dance on,
Dancing on
Love unbound
By fiddler’s broken strings
and rusty bow.
But broken strings
And rusty bow
Still play a melody of heart.
Let us feast on the music and dine on the dance
Hands bid beyond what pockets hold;
Fiddler rusty must remain
And sour notes to play;
Melody a broken chord.
i smell the smoky aroma of repentence,
an aroma of repentance and the rising song of prayer.

Fiddling on the Roof: An Aside

Tradition! Tradition!
TchrErc is fiddling on the roof
Fiddlesticks! I suppose next you’ll be proposing to matchmake?
But only if he were a rich man,
he was a rich and twisted man
Twisted and searching,
Not realizing where his riches truly lie (or lay).
Hah. The only couple
I ever “matchmade”
Divorced after five years.
Not I, my friend, not I,
Not in my profession.
Twittering tweets do wake
Our laid-off friend.
He fears all the purple prose we make
Our laid-off friend,
You say?
Aye, if can tweet with twitters in his heart
And do hands’ bidding
When words work not.
Tis all sweet lies
Our friend does tell,
No corporate blood
Did run
Through his steely heart
Nor tip his mind to thoughts of matchmaking.

My Hand’s Bidding

tspoetry: “The bow lies/the music breaks me/lays me down/to your hands’ bidding.”

My hands’ bidding
Is to serve
The music singing
In the heart.
The music was Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring,
Alas, it was the winter of his discontent,
Rich and twisted
Lips he sported;
No music from his mouth did issue
Even in the moonlight,
Even in the shadows.
But music sounded
Within his heart
To sing a silence
Within his very life.
Spring holy
And holy the discontent
Of winter’s last breath,
Angered release.
Ay, be there a priest near
To take confession
On this sorry night?
Not the priest of Juliet
But the priest of the most holy.
Should I confess
The lies,
The sorry smoking
Wedged in alleys’
sweet release?
Minutes before the end does come
The knife he laid on table
Takes up the plot
To teach beauty
How the night might ravage
Even the best of us.
Can you trust
It for even
A minute?
A knife that cuts to harm,
A knife that cuts to heal
To please my own sense
But to serve a larger sense
Of beauty.
Sweet grass, sweet
Lies and mayflies
Ravish my soul,
My heart.

Farewells to the Ruby Moon

tspoetry: “Because of it you made/the beautiful things you made/for yourself alone, and yet,/ I think, for us both.”

I bid thee a farewell and godspeed,
My thanks to all
An enjoyable eve was had;
Weary souls depart
For much needed comfort and rest.
Feast well on sleep
And ruby dreams
When twittering tweeters play
Out a game
Beneath a ruby-rubbed moon
Peeling back wallpaper.
For both of us
Does bring apology
To forgiveness
And confession
A sorry tangle of words
Making no sense
Unless a lawyer be held in tow.
And so another
Comes to an end
And then, we did drift away.
Good night, sweet poetry friends.
We drift, we separate
But our little boats
Travel the same stream
Beneath the same moon.
A moon whose beams did light our way
Again this time.
Good night;
Loved this
(even with my migraine).

Browse more:

Love Poems
Surreal Poems
Twitter Poems


  1. says

    Marvelous! You made it all make some sort of sense. It’s through the repetitions I think. Like the way a villanelle works.

    And I laughed at the final line. Perfect. :)

  2. says

    Once again, Glynn, you did a marvelous job with all these words. (And I especially liked the way you brought said words to a close (I really did have a migraine that day).)

    Once started, it must be read to the end.

    And, reading this, I imagine what it will be like to read “The Red Book” from that famous Swiss.

    What a collage this would make to hang upon the wall.


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