Circling the Moon

I invoke the spirit of Jack Wright whose light was the heart of our theatre
Rosamund Laberge who awoke the strings in our children
Berenice Dickson who created our dancers for a dime each week
Rose Stephens who made theatre fun and drove us crazy
Marie Keenan-Gignac and Mary Parisien who were our pianos
Hume Wilkins who was our poet
Rick Forrester who drove our musicals before him
Carm Aube who lived our music
Grace MacLeod who painted our sugar bushes
Tamia Doll who painted our river
J.T. Mackenzie who was the first to arrange “Amazing Grace” for the pipes of our world
and all the other crazy people who once lived among us and those who still do,
who tell us who we are, what we can be.

Here tonight in the light in the dark
on the stage of this wondrous asylum,
this source of hope and desperation
we gather to honour the insane.

Oh, artists!
In the quiet rooms where
you spin out your unique madness–
your village idiocy–
that leaves your neighbours wondering
when lunacy begins
lopping her ear,
howling at the moon.

In elemental space you rehearse,
shape, weave, compose, revise and
repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat
until boredom is torture
inspiration is addiction
and passion has reverted to desperation–
where feet, fingers, tears,
brains and ignored loved ones
are pushed past brutality
for a few moments of
applause or beer-bleary disregard.

After the astronauts have gone limping home
you draw the lines that define us:
the ink sketch on the yellowed page
the quilt on the comfy bed
the pow-wow unity
the moment of observation
saved on a page
on a monitor
in a chord
in a movement
in clay or bronze
on a canvas
on a stage
in a digital repository

The scene is realistic
almost photographic
except for the annoying
yaketa-yaketa
of the artist
who is always in the way
insistent, distorting, visionary
mad.

We are here tonight to honour
this productive insanity
that thrives outside the realm of acceptance
in the silences
in the loneliness
in the selfless passion
that will circle the moon
howling:
“This is who we are,
what we can be.”

The voice of the poet

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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2 Responses to Circling the Moon

  1. Kathleen Hay says:

    Love it, Doug! Village idiocy, lunacy and wondrous asylums . . . perfect!!

    • riverwriter says:

      Thanks, Kathleen, coming up in the next week, you’ll see some of the poems I wrote and considered for the event before this one. Tomorrow’s is called “Incident in a framing store”.

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