Full Worm Moon
by NELI MOODY


Full Worm Moon

Armstrong leapt like a schoolboy,
A blue and cloud-kissed Earth across his face,
And the American flag was dumbstruck
On the airless moon,
Given the enormity of the occasion,
The brevity of Man.


The single moon that encircles Earth
Has many names for each of its 28 day cycles,
For each season of becomings, of buds and blossoms
And barren branches under quiet lines of snow.


She waxes and wanes above us,
Moon When the Deer Sheds Its Horns,
Moon of the Crusted Snow, Egg Moon,
Milk Moon, Last Moon of Winter.


The Full Worm Moon of March awakens
All intrepid limbless gardeners,
Of the dark soil where death begets
Life and the rank perfume of endings
Begets fragrant blooms.


Sorcerers, they, passing through their bodies
Entire planets, egalitarian wizards of transformation,
Horse, ash, house, politician, all the same. They stir
To a strange music, too telling for our ears.


Many miracles have Latin names
And formulas full of explanations
Mysteries of math, dazzling calculations,
Spark us to wonder,
But they are mere truths and
They do not look like us at all.
NELI MOODY is a poet and a lecturer at San Jose State University, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She received her B.A. in Creative Arts and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from SJSU. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Phelan Award and the Virginia Araujo Award sponsored by the American Academy of Poetry. After Altamira, published by Ishmael Reed Publishing Company in 2006, was nominated for a National Book Award. Her work has appeared in such publications as Brick and Mortar Review, Konch Magazine, Art Times, Appalachian Heritage, and ReedMagazine. Her essay "A syntax of Stones: Pre-Text, Edifice, and the Sacred Space in Richard Berengarten 's 'Avebury' " will be published by Salt Publications in the UK in 2010. That eassy will appear in the March 2010 issue of Jacket Magazine.