Omoide No Tsukimi             for Ronald Johnson 1935—1998

Allan Graham, Moon 2, 1986, oil on canvas, 83 in.x 91in. Private Collection

Omoide No Tsukimi             for Ronald Johnson 1935—1998

It rises to self-awareness          

Horizon that is always with us  

Black north’s direction

Risen from the belly nightsky   

Phantom blot, inkblack Heian hair

Coiled black pythoness

On moonless nights

Monk sleeves trailed through wet grasses

It hangs eternal there, never sets or climbs

Fulgent Moon 2, lightning struck through

 

 

Lightning flash

Then back to black

What seams this darklight

But black holds back, insists

At backbehindness it sustains

Unreflecting primordial companion

All phases of the moon condense

Moon 2 takes breathing, animates itself

Without horizon other than itself, irregular oval of all moons

Even when full or crescent sickle thin slice on either end

 

 

Blindspot

At last Narcissus lies faceless

Bottom of unsounded pond

Face buried in a silken muck

Thankfully in reflection I am dark to myself

Tarbaby reflections of Moon 2

 

 

Glitters in the total void

Senses steep in unsounded dark

Where darkbather mind

And sunbather eyes intersect

The heart is black and madder

The soul is fishscale black

Thunder underneath the under

Heart and soul begin a fisted journey

To the behindblackness

At our backs we always feel

Always back there behind it all

From head to heel black chrysalis

Hangman’s hood or shiny bodybag.

–Gus Blaisdell

Moon2 is an all black painting by Allan Graham. My Japanese title means remembering moonviewing. The line beginning “Thunder . . . ”, set in italic, varies a line from a manuscript, “The Imaginary Menagerie,” by the visionary poet Ronald Johnson. [Gus’s endnote.]

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