The Poet of the Week (PoW) for Skeptic Kaddish Prompt #32 is Britta Benson of Odds and Ends Poetry. Britta’s prompt guidelines •Write a poem, any length, any style; •The title of your poem must be a date, including day, month and year; •Your date can be in the past, the future, or, simply the date on which you are composing your poem; •Fictional/speculative dates
This prompt is not an easy one for me. Mention dates and too many historical moments flash into my mind. The prompt was daunting, and dates overwhelmed. I thought I was going to give up. However, walking home on the evening of the 9th December 2022, I saw the brightest moon shining my way along the Thames river bank. I’ve attempted to write a poem but… it remains to be seen.
The Cold Moon, Saturday 10th December, 2022
I can’t think of anything to rhyme With a date, a day, a month and a year. I fear, I don’t have the time! To think of any— Days, months, dates?—there are so many! Are there any I can write about? In deepest history? and steepest mystery. So many Dates for wines, whiskies and stout; Birthdays, weddings, funerals. Politics and kings. And lots of other things. There is the Battle of Hastings in 1066 King Harold got an arrow in his eye. Oh, my! What a horrid way to die. The Great fire of London in 1666 When the city burned down Homes cindered all about town. Battles, wars, plague. Blurred, confused, vague. Times, dates, months, years. epochs, aeons, periods, eras. Today’s date is December, tenth. The Cold Moon is at its zenith. Shall I write rhymes about that instead? Forget the other times and dates whirling round my head? Yes! That is what I’ll do. I will write a haiku. … A bright Cold Moon shines moonbeams shivering adieu twenty, twenty two Lesley Scoble December 2022
The Cold Moon 8th December 2022 | Photo©️Lesley Scoble
The Cold Moon
The December full moon, known as the Cold Moon, reached its fullness, its zenith over London on the early morning of Thursday the 8th December 2022. I wrote its zenith was on the tenth. You agree that the tenth rhymes well with zenith (if you swallow the i syllable) better than the eighth? Poetic license makes no apology for this particular minutiae chronological shift.
Other chill names for the Cold Moon are:
- The Frost Exploding Trees Moon
- Moon of the Popping Trees
- Hoar Frost Moon
- Snow Moon
- Winter Maker Moon
- Long Night Moon
If you didn’t already know this moon shines in the depth of winter, these names might give you a clue.
In my photo, the Cold Moon shined on me on my way home on the evening of the tenth of December. Look close-up at the image. The moon has a bright Mars to its right (at 1 O’clock position).
Mars is at its closest to Earth this month. Get outside and look! It’s only 50.6 million miles (81.5 million kilometres) away! The next time you will see it so close will be January 12th, 2025.
My thanks to David of the Skeptics Kaddish and to PoW Britta Benson of Odds and Ends Poetry Blog for her prompt.