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Tuesday, 21 December 2010




Lunar eclipse on winter solstice, 21 December 2010, Kennewick, Washington: photo by Sam Rambo, 201

Amid the violet-underlit bands of storm cloud above the bay
A blue portal opened for a moment
Through which appeared the great luminous orange globe
Wearing a sliver-thin white cap


Lunar eclipse on winter solstice, 21 December 2010, Kennewick, Washington: photo by Sam Rambo, 2010


Lunar eclipse on winter solstice, 21 December 2010, Strathcona County, Alberta: photo by 42things, 2010

Lunar eclipse on winter solstice, 21 December 2010, Bogota, Colombia: photo by Black Rose, 2010


Julia said...

You asked me if I've seen this in person... No, I haven't, I was sleeping! (regrets!)

But your post is wonderful...

TC said...

Well, I should have been sleeping, but...

It was an amazing spectacle. I was reminded of some blood oranges I once saw in a grove in the sanctuary in the sacred gardens of the old city of Fez (this was almost fifty years ago, but the memory of colours never dies!).

Because the garden was regarded as sacred, no one was permitted to pick the oranges, and they stayed on the trees a very long time, becoming very large and eventually turning a deep red-purple in colour before finally dropping off the trees.

This moon was that colour, but with a very bright halo, almost like a caul, around the top rim.

The sky had been entirely clouded for days, but for a moment a hole opened up in the clouds, and against that deep-blue backdrop, there it was.

(One lives one's life for such moments.)



Thanks for such great photos -- sounds as if you must have seen a 'glimpse' of it, Winter Solstice 12.21.2010, full moon at 12:13 a.m., total lunar eclipse at 11:40 p.m. for more than an hour last night (behind clouds here), now the sun will be heading back this way (rising through trees here, before disappearing again into the clouds). . . .


orange edge of sun rising through black

plane of trees, red-tailed hawk calling

in foreground, wave sounding in channel

components form system from

this, since also both

positions relative to which

place, physical, less

sunlight reflected in windblown channel,

wingspan of gull gliding toward horizon

Ed Baker said...

yes indeed!

full moon
I think I'm in love
with a rock

full moon
behind a cloud
will I see you again

full moon
come again

full moon
in my garden



is that where the hats come/came from?

I too stayed up... I mean
this only happens 2wice in every
next time it comes
my way
I won't be here...

I figure

I can get plenty of sleep
after I'm dead.

Anonymous said...

Waking up to this was wonderful. I anticipated a poetic response from Steve and now my day is off to a very good start (still before noon; I can't complain) and my experience of the eclipse is enlarged.

Gregory Bem said...

Hey Tom,

My name is Greg Bem. I wasn't sure how to contact you so apologize if using the comments box here wasn't appropriate!

Anyway: I recently reviewed your book, At the Fair. The review is on the blog for Pilot Books, which is a bookstore based out of Seattle. Check it out here:

Email me if you have any questions (

Julia said...

Blood oranges!!
Perdón hace mucho calor como para pensar en inglés... pero quería decirte cuánto me alegro de que el cielo se haya abierto para permitirte el espectáculo de anoche. Tiene algo de milagroso después de tantos días de lluvia. ¿no?
Aquí sucedió mucho más entrada la madrugada y no estoy segura de que se hubiera visto desde nuestro departamento (otros edificios tapan la luna con frecuencia).
Pero sí, lamento ahora habérmelo perdido, al menos para intercambiar impresiones contigo.
¡Saludos y que estés bien!

Ed Baker said...

there is
actually a Blood Moon

as I recall it is (also) known as
Hunter's Moon

I've in many of my
"full moon" 'shorties'
pointed towards it/her


"full moon rising"

same color/hue as
Dragon's Blood

sort -of
a reddish-orange ink-paste I use for & with my chop

TC said...

Sí, Julia, un pequeño milagro, esa ventana momentánea en las tormentas, lo que permite la visión de la suerte.

La próxima vez que se produce este evento, en 300 años más o menos, tendremos que planificar las cosas un poco mejor, con el fin de asegurarse de estar buscando en el lugar correcto en el momento mismo.

Tal vez para entonces, sin embargo, la luna será hecha de queso verde?

Ed, here is a fairly wow-some Hunter's Moon.

Indeed it does look a bit like last night's.

The Hunter's Moon, or Blood Moon, is the first full moon after the harvest moon, which is the full moon nearest the autumn equinox.

Farmers Almanac gives this list of moons:

* January – Wolf moon
* February – Snow moon
* March – Storm moon
* April – Pink moon
* May – Flower moon
* June – Strawberry moon
* July – Buck moon
* August – Sturgeon moon
* September – Harvest moon
* October – Hunter's moon
* November – Beaver moon
* December – Cold moon

Some folks have called the July moon Thunder Moon, the March moon Raccoon Moon, and so on. And of course the third full moon of any four-moon season is a Blue Moon.

Ed Baker said...

Stone Girl "clued" me about every one of them "moons"
way back on April 19, 12233 B.C. when she was in her cave inventing language

she equated that Blood Moon with her own (menstrual)
natural cycle... which seemingly never ends

had something to do with anama

Ed Baker said...

pee est

Fats Domino has a neat version of

Blue Moon

let s see

Blue Moon
I saw you standing alone
without a song of your own
without a love of your own

Julia said...

=) Ok, 300 years from now...
It's a date, Tom!

Do you realize that this almanac of yours must be put upsidedown for the south hemisphere, don't you?

Ed Baker said...

aditya said...

Great pictures and views Tom.

That Hunter's moon is insanely beautiful.

Curiously enough
I had titled a poem Total exactly a week ago. To talk ridiculously enough of the poem's cycle/in the northern hemisphere.

TC said...

Aditya, I have just come from being bathed by the shafts of the headlights of your Totality, on a rainy night. This is a curious and intriguing coincidence.

(Your poem put into my head the odd "reverse idea" of time growing on a tree, like, for example, a large coconut, or the even larger strange spherical fruits of the Monkey Tree.)

TC said...


Here's another blue moon from deep in the rainy night.

TC said...


That's perfect, it usually takes me about 300 years to get organized to do anything (like, currently, tying my shoes -- ouch).

Do forgive my silly northern hemisphere chauvinism re. the moon names. Perdoname!

The Roman, Celtic, and Anglo Saxon names of the Moons obviously derive from cultures and traditions native to the northern hemisphere, and I would wager the southern hemisphere peoples have always had their own local customs and traditions regarding moon names, so that merely turning the list upside down and reversing it may not make sense for someone living in Tasmania or Patagonia.

That said, when I scratch about a bit, I find that even in the north there are as many local alternatives and variations as one might expect, when it comes to moon-naming.

I have it on the authority of a certain neo-pagan priestess named The White Goddess that the following moon names and applications bear with them some weight of cultural tradition.

Moon names via The White Goddess:

January -- Storm Moon
A storm is said to rage most fiercely just before it ends, and the year usually follows suit.

February -- Chaste Moon
The antiquated word for pure reflects the custom of greeting the new year with a clear soul.

March -- Seed Moon
Sowing season and symbol of the start of the new year.

April -- Hare Moon
The sacred animal was associated in Roman legends with springtime and fertility.

May -- Dyad Moon
The Latin word for a pair refers to the twin stars of the constellation of Castor and Pollux.

June -- Mead Moon
During late June and most of July the meadows, or meads, were mowed for hay.

July -- Wort Moon
When the sun was in Leo, the worts (from the Anglo-Saxon wyrt plant) were gathered to be dried and stored.

August -- Barley Moon
Persephone, virgin Goddess of rebirth, carries a sheaf of barley as a symbol of the harvest.

September -- Blood Moon
Marking the season when domestic animals were sacrificed for winter provisions. Libra's full moon occasionally became the Wine Moon when a grape harvest was expected to produce a superior vintage.

October -- Snow Moon or Mourning Moon
Scorpio heralds the dark season when the sun is at its lowest and the first snows fly.

November -- Oak Moon or Frost Moon
The sacred tree of the Druids and the Roman God Jupiter is most noble as it withstands winter storms.

December -- Wolf Moon or Long Nights Moon
The fearsome nocturnal animal represents the "night" of the year.


But I am afraid I have yet to find a similar list for the southern hemisphere.

Still, the search continues. Maybe you have your own ideas on the subject?

(By the way, I am feeling a strange envy toward those dried worts, I don't know quite why, perhaps it's that they sound so... well-preserved?)

Julia said...

The same thing happens to me. Time just slips ...
And, no, no, no, there is nothing to apologize for. No way my comment was intended to be a claim for anything. It was only a curious discovery. In fact here in the south we live with many of the traditions of the north. If you walk through the steamy streets of Buenos Aires these days, you'll find in the store windows tons of artificially snow-covered pines, figures of reindeer pulling sleds snow and Santas wearing warm clothes and long beards ...
Your list of moons is getting more and more interesting! I'm sure there must be similar things in the indigenous cultures of South America, but I do not know...

(dried worts: I love them)

TC said...

A sleigh ride through the steamy streets of Buenos Aires, with the sighing petals of the fading jacarandás fluttering down upon one like a mild violet snowstorm, what better way to experience the holiday... said he, amid the cold wind and rain of the miserable North.

Julia said...

Don't believe that...
La distancia es la mejor creadora de idealizaciones fantásticas.

(Said she, always realistic and terrible pragmatic)

SarahA said...

Thomas, everytime I look at her now (looking down on me); I shall see her 'silver-thin white cap' and smile.
Lovely words, lovely pictures.

Ed Baker said...

I could tell you a bit about Billie Holiday ...

and her doing of Blue Moon AND God Bless the Child...

long about 1950 or so
but, not "over these 'air-waves'"


Ed Baker said...

tel let in 2001
did my Full Moon (a selection)

about 153 "full moon" poems ( (of about (at that time 2,200))
I just found a couple of copies
if I had your Earthly Address I'd send you one of them

as foor tying your shoes

my morning challenge is getting my socks on ...

actually these days
"getting anything on"
... patience &a sense of humour

Ed Baker said...

here ... a couple of "full moon" 'shorties'

not great poetry ... but, what is?

TC said...


Oh, eso es toda la razón, gracias a Dios!


And I believe I have more than once seen her smile upon your babies and you. (She knows who her friends are, or so rumour has it.)


I do believe you could.

You are a remarkably early riser, by the way. This must be the source of your amazing energy.

(The air keeps coming at us in waves, what can we do against it but keep on saying foolish things like this.)

(R. Creeley paraphrased.)

TC said...

my morning challenge is getting my socks on ...

actually these days
"getting anything on"
... patience &a sense of humour

Oh, absolutely, Ed. That's the Rx, for sure.

With the broken ribcage, especially, I'm learning that virtually every physical action requires both those things, the first, the patience to get the job done, and the second, when the job doesn't get done, the sense of humour that would allow one to step back and accept the truth of one's own clownish debility, as though it were some kind of cosmic joke.

Well, it is a joke...

(Accepting that one has become a joke is sometimes funny and sometimes not.)

(But I ought to speak for myself.)

Ed Baker said...

well... to carry this to an
other 'position ... I tend towards play

where "full moon", "Wild Orchid", "Korean Spring Flower", "Stone Girl" "She" are merely / the same
... Goddess of Regeneration (anama). so that
here is one that I've been "playing with (MY SELF):


was She that was last revered
t h a t
she left me

here &in my play &reveries
with just an other

re:turn to my [child-hood} dream s

.as to not beggar what is not yet given

.I had stuck my thumb in &she

picked me up

.in trod used me


(so far, so good
this "new" book

will bring up from
the cellar

my ancient typewriter

c-l-i-c-k-s toward the bell's
D I N G!

Anonymous said...

so beautiful Tom...thanks!

TC said...

And thank you, Sandra.

Did you see it there, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Eclipses are magic. No wonder the primitive men have created so much mythology about them. I was sad to miss this one in particular, as it coincided with the winter solstice but fortunately I have stared at other orange moons in the past here in the Patagonian skies. Mesmerizing indeed.