Moon Fishing Poem by Lisel Mueller

Moon Fishing

Rating: 3.9

When the moon was full they came to the water.
some with pitchforks, some with rakes,
some with sieves and ladles,
and one with a silver cup.

And they fished til a traveler passed them and said,
to catch the moon you must let your women
spread their hair on the water --
even the wily moon will leap to that bobbing
net of shimmering threads,
gasp and flop till its silver scales
lie black and still at your feet."

And they fished with the hair of their women
till a traveler passed them and said,
do you think the moon is caught lightly,
with glitter and silk threads?
You must cut out your hearts and bait your hooks
with those dark animals;
what matter you lose your hearts to reel in your dream?"

And they fished with their tight, hot hearts
till a traveler passed them and said,
what good is the moon to a heartless man?
Put back your hearts and get on your knees
and drink as you never have,
until your throats are coated with silver
and your voices ring like bells."

And they fished with their lips and tongues
until the water was gone
and the moon had slipped away
in the soft, bottomless mud.

Glen Kappy 18 December 2016

i wonder what mueller had in mind when she wrote this. what it makes me think of is the aching feeling to possess someone of something which always eludes us because it's not possible. oneness comes by other means- it's a gift. -glen kappy

3 1 Reply
Kim Barney 28 May 2015

Creative and lighthearted fun. Enjoyed reading this one.

2 1 Reply
Savita Tyagi 20 February 2018

Lovely poem. Moon creates fascinating imaginations. One of the best is this one. Catching moon with a woman’s silken hair is most romantic.

2 1 Reply
Ashika Murali Acharya 20 February 2018

Finest piece of imaginative writing. Beautiful.

2 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 20 February 2019

beautiful poem // they fished the life cap-a-pie with their hands, fingers, sight, smells, lips....tongues....... they fished the COSMOS..............

2 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 20 February 2019

The narration of the story poem is simply superb. Loved it.

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Practicing Poetess 20 February 2019

Fools they were. But, you lost me at why they didn't die after they cut out their hearts. A creative and imaginative write!

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James Mclain 20 February 2019

Tall trees, The moon is full and leaves of green And bushes In dark shadows i have stood.

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Pranab K Chakraborty 20 February 2019

Excellent indeed. I feel to go moon fishing. But sure no woman would spread their hair, since they are bobbed already....... Fantastic. Enjoyed much.

1 0 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 20 February 2019

Enjoyed the story. A beautiful poem indeed. Thanks for posting.

1 0 Reply
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