By Moonlight’s Rays

(Three ovillejos, partly inspired by
Ryder-Waite’s tarot card, “The Moon.” )

You’ve hatched intact from mother’s eggs—
Eight spindly legs
Convey you
round this stream-bed floor.
Beyond the shore
By day you slumber, blind to light’s
Diurnal sights.
By dark, you stalk the star-struck nights
Unversed in all, save instinct’s needs.
But intuition’s drive soon leads
Eight spindly legs beyond the shore. Diurnal sights  

You can’t envision don’t propel
Your jointed shell
To clamber from the sheltered bays.
But moonlight’s rays
Embolden you to brave the sand
Atop the land.
Your ganglion can’t understand
Your need to climb the paths that sprawl
Ahead, despite what may befall
Your jointed shell. But moonlight’s rays atop the land

Compel you on. Your eyestalks see
You’d never spied submerged in dark.
Those peaks, raised stark,
Delineate their glens; those gales
That swell your sails
Define the stills below. It hails
You home—the stream-bed’s haze—
But insight spurs you now to praise
Dualities: those peaks, raised stark, that swell your sails.

Mindy Watson

The ovillejo is an old Spanish form popularized by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). Click here for an explanation of the form.