Night from the inside (5)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Night from the Inside

 

To go for a walk in the woods during the day is to participate in a fantasy of knowing through seeing. The mysterious unknown is pushed back, engendering the desire to keep walking just to see what’s around the next bend. At night, all such illusions fall away. The forest we’ve just walked through retains its essential unknowability. Without darkness, the very possibility of the wild becomes endangered.

*

From off in the darkness, the sound of a porcupine clacking its teeth. Against what threat, I wonder?

It goes on and on. Somebody doesn’t have much sense.

*

I sit on a bench in the moonlight, put down my hand, and find the pen I didn’t know I’d lost. A small moment of grace, like so many over the years that have allowed me to see myself as deeply fortunate, despite the fact that I’m broke.

*

The absolute silence of an owl’s flight. If I hadn’t been gazing in the right direction, I wouldn’t have known it was there. Even the moonlight makes more noise.

*

In a moonlit forest there are far more beasts. I have had to get out my flashlight three times in the course of a mile to verify that dark shapes were merely logs or root balls. But of course in reality, too, more animals are able to forage or to hunt when the moon is bright.

*

Trees don’t need heads because they have the sun. At night, all that remains are their gestures of ardent worship silhouetted against the sky.

*

Angels with the jaws of lions, these clouds trying to swallow the full moon. A bat less seen than felt — a ripple through the still air currently bearing the monotonous hectoring of a whip-poor-will.

*

Full moon through the trees: the last I’ll see it like that, with so few leaves, until November. I watch it inching along through the branches.

*

Sitting in the middle of a mowed path through the meadow, I feel something bump into the back of my canvas chair, followed by the sound of running feet. Didn’t turn around in time to see what it was. Too small for a deer, too fast for a porcupine. A near-sighted fox? A not-so-wily coyote?

*

moon dog
taking off my glasses
to make sure it’s real

moon dog
sprouting a cloudy tail
time to plant

*

supermoonlight
the old anthill’s
shaggy look

*

moon bathing
that elusive piece
of soap

*

Sólo la luna sospecha la verdad.
Y es que el hombre no existe.
(Only the moon suspects the truth.
And that is that Man doesn’t exist.)
Vicente Aleixandre

*

The night’s doors opening all at once. Flickers of lightning on the horizon. The false thunder of a jet.

*

The sounds of my digestion startle me — and perhaps others off in the darkness. Wouldn’t this have given our hunter-gatherer ancestors an adaptive advantage? I like the idea of the wild within — our gut microflora — helping to safeguard us against the wild without.

Series Navigation← Night from the inside (4)

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