Super Moon, March 9, 2020


These photos were taken from my back yard between 8 and 10 PM on March 9, 2020 in San Juan Cosala—night of the Super Moon.

You’ll see much more detail if you click on the first photo and then on the right hand arrow on each photo. I wish I knew more about landmarks on the moon. It looks a bit like a navel orange with white lines radiating out from the navel.

Midnight Swim



Midnight Swim

I love this dark and quiet night
far from the loud and glaring light.
Solitary in the dark,
no mewling cat or warning bark.
The whole world in conspiracy
hides and holds and cushions me.
I move through water, side to side.
Through liquid currents, I freely slide.

Palms backlit by an opal moon
that’s dulled by clouds too soon, too soon.
The silence sliced by mosquito’s whine
mars a night no more divine.
Invader of my private night,
I fear its subtle stinger’s bite.
It moves in circles through the air
from shoulder to my neck and hair.

I swat at where it was until
it, alas, has had its fill.
Then it is off, leaving me
the pleasure of my company
devoid of interloper’s claim.
I wipe out memory of my name,
my age, my talents and my ills.
Suddenly, the pool fills

with the spreading whole of me
becoming part of all I see
and touch and smell and feel and dream.
I am, at last, all that I seem.
I float toward light, then climb the stairs,
free of worry and of cares.
If I can only fall to dreams
before old niggling prods and screams

invade my memory to call
me up against the judgment wall,
my whole intent will be fulfilled.
I’ll have achieved just what I willed.
Such are the charms of veiled nights
that cover over daylight’s frights
and lull us to our sleep and dreams
convincing us life’s what it seems.

What the White Owl Knew

What the White Owl Knew

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Strange things happen when you stay up all night. I first discovered this at the age of nine, when my friend Rita and I played Monopoly all night and sneaked down the stairs and went outside to see the sun come up. It was strange to hear traffic start out on the highway two blocks away, to see the milkman begin his rounds, to see the sky turn from black to gray to pink to a bleeding gold.

Sixty-two years later, I have just had a similar experience. After a sleepless night, just as I was ready to fall asleep, I experienced leg cramps along with a difficulty in breathing that I’ve tended to have lately. It is not exactly that I can’t breathe, but a feeling that perhaps soon I won’t be able to.  These two factors drove me outside and into the pool which, although it had been too hot to swim in at midnight, now had cooled to a lukewarm temperature above body temperature, but barely. (My pool is filled every other day with water from very hot mineral springs.)

Not feeling like doing my regular exercises, I floated and swam a bit, but very soon noticed a very large light just above the horizon. At first I thought it was another in a series of recent wildfires lifting its head over the mountain. It was a large glowing shape much bigger than the moon. I had looked at my alarm clock as I rose from my bed, and at 5 a.m., surely the moon wouldn’t just be rising.  It was clouded like a fire obscured by smoke, and for a good five or ten minutes, I was sure this was what it must be, but as it rose higher over the neighbor’s house, I realized that it was something in the sky. It was roughly oval in shape, with the points of the oval pointing up and down, not side-to-side.

As it rose higher in the sky it grew larger but stayed indistinct—like a large fuzzy, uneven-sided bright oval  larger than the sun and somewhat fuzzied and diluted by clouds. It had an otherworldly effect and as the stars came out above it, it seemed in stark contrast to the clear silhouettes of the palm trees further to the West. Did the moon ever rise at 5 a.m.? Surely not. The moon rose at night and set in the morning as the sun rose.  Could this be the sun rising at 5 a.m.?  If so, there were no colors of sunrise flooding the sky around it.

Much too big for a plane, what sort of phenomenon could it be? The very early morning darkness gave no other hint of the day to come. I floated in a surreal eeriness, tempted to go in to look up moonrise and moonset times, but some superstition and need to see what happened next kept me floating in the warm soup of my pool. Suddenly, something large lifted into the sky above the neighbor’s house and flew directly in front of the glowing object in the sky to swoop over the pool and then barely clear the roof of my house in a swift arc. At first stunned by what seemed to be part of the eerie situation of the light in the sky, I soon realized that It was a large white owl–one my friend Patty had seen twice years ago but which I had never seen in the eighteen years I’ve been living in this house.

I floated, stirring arms and legs as though flying myself, completely mesmerized by what seemed like magic. Who would believe it? All-in-all, I remained in the pool for a half hour, watching the eerie light as it rose almost imperceptibly higher. Its shape was nebulous, as though hidden behind thick clouds, at times growing more pointed, like a vague quarter moon with its tips pointing to the right and a bit tilted to the left.
Until finally, without ever rising 1/16th of the way across the sky, within seconds it vanished.  One second it was there, the next gone.

Was it thick clouds that had obscured it that quickly? Only the evening before, I had found my waterproof camera and looked in vain for its battery. If I had located it, I could have taken a photo of the phenomenon. With the light gone and the water cooling, I groped my way up the steps from the pool and into my bedroom, where I dried off, slipped into my nightgown and picked up the laptop I’d abandoned in bed.

“Moonrise and Moonset for Ajijic, Mexico” I typed into the browser and was quickly presented with the following information:

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Moonrise, 3:29 a.m., Moonset, 3:33 p.m. How could I have not known that the moon sometimes rises and sets in the daytime? By the 31st of the month it will rise at 5:17 a.m.!  I then remember having seen the moon in the sky long after the sun has risen, but somehow what my eyes have seen has not been seized by my mind!

It now occurs to me that  I can take my regular camera out to see if there is anything to see. I do so, looking up at the totally dark sky. The first birds have begun their twittering even though no light other than a few stars prompts their songs. I see one wispy cloud in the pitch black sky, a bit higher than the light I had seen a half hour before.  And then I see a brief glow which vanishes before I can snap a photo.



Then another dim glow. It has to be the moon emerging now and then from behind clouds. I snap photo after photo but nothing shows up in the frames I check. Then suddenly, one more chance. I snap the shutter, click to see what I have captured.

It is not much, but it has at last assumed a vague moon size and shape and at least it is faint proof of my last hour’s adventure.


The first church bells of the morning peal out. When I return to my room,  It is 6 a.m. by my bedside clock.

I look again at the screenshots I’ve made from the moonrise/moonset site.

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What the white owl has probably always know I have learned for the first time tonight.

Playing With the Moon

Please click on the first photo to enlarge all and really see the difference between these shots of the moon all taken within two minutes of each other.

These photos, although all different shots, all appeared alike in the beginning.  Their differences came about through changes in cropping, exposures, brightness, sharpness, edges, saturation and color in my Mac Photos app that came with my computer.  The thing that amazes me most is all the stars that can be seen in some of the photos that were not noticeable by means of the human eye before I started sharpening the photos.  The red in the first photo is tall palm trees.  They should have been evident in the other photos as well, but they weren’t.  I think I used a flash in that photo only. I was in the pool around midnight, using my waterproof Nikon camera. Please note, also, the photo where the moon appears to be heart-shaped.  Love that one. And the one where the moon appears to have its own moon.  I don’t know what that was.  Perhaps a star?

JNW’s Halloween Prompt: Werewolf

Well, I know this is a photo prompt, but I can’t resist posting this poem as well. Just too appropriate to pass up:

The Moon Is Full and Waiting

The moon is full and waiting, but the night is full of chill,
though my true love expects me over yonder hill.
His ardent calls invite me to join him for the night,
and yet I dread the cold cold wind and the night air’s bite.
If I were only twenty I’d have no choice to make,
but I have guests arriving and sweet bites yet to bake.

My true love lies waiting over yonder hill,
but he’ll return another night. I’m confident he will,
for he has no other to overlook his flaws:
the roughness of his ardor, the power of his jaws.
His embrace often bruises, though this isn’t his intent.
In the excess of his ardor, only tenderness is meant.

The warm cave of our meeting still carves out yonder hill,
yet tonight I may not join him, and perhaps I never will.
Tomorrow night the full moon will partially be spent.
and tonight as time fills up the moon, I vow to not relent.
Perhaps I’ll find another closer to my kind,
though an equal to his passion I’m unlikely to find.

A mild wind blows the clouds away to clear the shrouded moon.
My guests will be arriving. I know it will be soon.
I stir in leavening powder. I stir in heavy cream.
Across the hand I stir with falls the moon’s broad beam.
I drop the spoon and go again to open up the door.
I hear the gentle song of wind, my lover’s beckoning roar.

I answer with a beat of blood. A spasm in my thigh
invites me to be climbing over distant hill and high.
The crumbs fall from my fingers as I run into the night.
I do not feel the bruising stones or the wind’s cold bite.
My lover calls me onward, and once again I go.
For when the full moon calls me, not once have I said no.


Jennifer’s Halloween prompt today is werewolf.

Revelation in Twilight: 19 Studies of the Moon

Revelation in Twilight

This morning I woke early—an hour before light
obscured my vision of the moon, hanging like a kite
in the night-stained sky, there through my window bars.
suspended high up in a sky devoid of clouds or stars.

Just a minute later, it moved along with me
to float the pool’s surface that only I could see.
Too soon the sun would come, its golden light to douse.
But for now, it followed me as I walked through my house.

Friendly moon to loiter in my company.
It seemed this early morning that both of us were free
to spend a few rare moments quietly alone.
Both of us free-floating in the twilight zone.

(Please click on first photo to enlarge all.)




The prompt today was revelation. All photos by jdb.

Night Chorus


Night Chorus

Village dogs out in the dark—
first they howl, and then they bark.

A filling moon spills from a cloud.
That’s when the dogs become so loud.

Each of my dogs is in his bed,
though they’d rather be outside instead.

My dogs and I silent and still
as outside voices speak their will.

The little burro brays consent.
Wind in the palms nodding assent.

I have my qualms about leaving Morrie and Diego out all night to converse with the neighbors.  I spoil all their fun!!!

Two Poems from a Night with No Moon

Two Poems from a Night with No Moon

I wrote these poems two years ago, but I had forgotten them, so perhaps even  if you read them then, you have forgotten them, too.

This Night is Broken

With all of its sounds
spilled out,
someone else’s sounds
echo around it.

The space inside of it
is broken, too.
Only the constant rain
seeks to fill it.

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Falling Practice

Twice on the stairs last week
and once in the kitchen—
lately, these falls
have been coming in threes.

Tonight in the moonless dark, I tripped
over the low metal bench beside the hot tub.
Then a loud bang sent me searching
to find the heavy husk fallen from the palm tree.

I do not venture out alone again,
but sit on the patio
in the light of my laptop,
hoping to escape the third fall.

Your face on the screen turns green
from the reflection of the string
of Chinese lanterns
as we succumb to hard truths.

I fell in love with you so quickly,
but even all these falls
have not taught me how
to fall out of love with you.


The Prompt today was “Moon