To what length surreptitious moon

Spread the love

From archives – dated June 14, 2018

Somebody once asked me, what is the moon?
Does it feel our pain?
Does it observe stories as one expects it to?
I wish I’d known the answer,
I wish I’d known the truth.

Perhaps it’s filled with woe which preys
upon the heart,
perhaps it’s patron of darkness and things
that vanish with light.

What is the moon?
Perhaps it’s the cry of lovers who mourn
with solicitous night,
perhaps it’s the scent of betrayal
and of blossoms stripped to bloodless white.

Gently, does the sky disclose before whispers
from the dead
intrude, “the moon who you adore
has skeletons in the closet too,

and though dubious be these clouds,
let not mind defer from seeing through.”



The moon is burly wood ecstasy;
a tossed up love letter which we hide from ourselves,
yes I wrote, ‘to what length surreptitious moon,’
little did I know
that merely two years later
I would write a plethora of poems dipped in its light,
absolutely naïve was I,
I knew not ache, nor cry of lovers or what it meant;
perhaps the moon is ever present
in subconscious,
part of limb and part of bone, tell me;
how else, how else would my pen have turned from grey
smoke to platinum?






Photo credits: ‘New York Street Moon,’ by Georgia 0 Keeffe

Grace hosts at dVerse and invites us to write a Palinode,
a poem
in which a the poet retracts a view or sentiment
expressed in a
former poem. Come join us! 💝

Posted for MTB: Palinode @ dVerse Poets Pub

34 Replies to “To what length surreptitious moon”

  1. I love how you went from the asking what it is to knowing a bit more of the moon. I have read many inspired moon poems and know a little bit of that ache and lament of lovers over time. Yes perhaps it is part of our muse, part of limb and bone.

    I enjoyed reading both moonful poems tonight!

    1. Thank you so much, Grace 😀 so glad you enjoyed it 💄❤️

      (and thank you for the glorious prompt) 🌹

  2. Wow, Sanaa – that final line! A pen ‘turned from grey/smoke to platinum!’ I love how you’ve used the prompt to explore the development of your poetic process.

  3. I appreciate all the questions in the original piece, Sanaa, and that it’s about the moon, the way it surmises that ‘it’s patron of darkness and things that vanish with light. But I love the twist in the palinode: what appears to be an answer (the moon as a ‘tossed up love letter is an excellent metaphor), ends with a question more beautiful than the questions about the moon: ‘how else, how else would my pen have turned from grey smoke to platinum?’

  4. Love the contrasts… I think sooner or later we all learn that the moon is simply a mirror and the only thing we can see its silver is self.

    … and self is hard to trust.

  5. I like what Bjorn said, “The moon is a mirror”. Your opposing poems work very well, and yes, most of us return to our older work, and find ways to update it, to morph into the newest strides we’ve made as writers.

  6. Perspective is everything, and I think you do a great job of showing how one’s state of mind can shift what one sees. I do like how you use the orb (the moon) as a symbol of what you’re feeling.

  7. I love your two poems and the questions it asks about our inner selves, reflected in the moon. I believe it is “part of limb part of bone.” It’s the sliver we hide from ourselves! ✨🌖✨

  8. How indeed? The poetic mind tropes its thought constantly, turning one view into another, reversing itself, seeing truths from right side up and upside down. Beholding the moon means feeling twice, even three times deep, getting closer to what’s yearning and beckoning in our own heart. Well done, Sanaa, your tenacity and ferocity for writing poems that go deeper and deeper is so admirable. – Brendan

  9. Sanaa,
    How it is you hold up the moon as a reflection of our selves in moments of time is wonderful! The faces of our naivete or cynicism or wonder or disgust: you posit them as givens and so in beautifully crafted language in conversation with the reader? Or is it the self? Or both. Impressionable communicator is the moon, as you show so magnificently.

  10. An effective contrast between the uncertainty and questions about the moon in the first poem and the lovely line at the end of the palinode with the rhetorical question: ‘how else would my pen …?’

    1. Thank you so much, Marion 😀 I enjoyed looking again at this poem, at reflecting upon the changes within ever since. 💄❤️

  11. I like the contrast here, Sanaa, both in form and content. The rhyming and lightness of the first poem suggests a more innocent time or as you suggest , naievety, whereas the free verse of the second poem suggests a less certain time ….enjoyed these…JIM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *