Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Moon Watch’ and other poems

By: J.K. Durick

Moon Watch

An afternoon moon is
worth the wait
sitting out there
in an Adirondack chair.
The novel I’m reading
is halfway through Kansas.
Its hero troubled by the terrain
but I’m really out there
in my chair
wanting to watch the sky.
The moon in the afternoon
is a muted shade of white waiting
to take on its full night white.
It arrives, almost surprises me
each time after my wait.
Today it’s three quarters full
and shows its full face
a face I know so well
after all these years
the one face watching me
that stays the same
never smirking or frowning
as it has watched me
get through my life
all those years that now
have me sitting out here waiting
for it to appear
and reassure me that at
least one constant
in my life remains just that.

Mowing Down

Another starts up – mower after mower
neighbor after neighbor joins in.
Perhaps it’s the power of suggestion –
one began, reminding the others to step out
to join in. What is it now – three, no four
playing the mower melody
filling the afternoon with that out-of-tune tune
of mowers mowing, almost competing
like singers at a really bad talent show –
each trying to outlast the others
not saving their voices for later.
Eventually, we know it will dwindle –
this quartet, will become a trio, then a duet,
and finally a solo dying down to little
then nothing, just silence
that sound of silence the song warned us about.
But I’m getting to think of that silence
as our reward for living through another
afternoon of mowing in this neighborhood
of evenly trimmed lawns.

What’s Missing

It’s late afternoon, and sitting out here
on the back deck has so much to offer –
this generous warmth
and gentle breeze,
but regrettably it lacks
one thing necessary
to make this perfect.
It lacks water to look at,
water to watch.
Not like the sprinkler from earlier
or the sight of our neighbor washing his car.

What we need is something with
power beyond our control – an ocean,
some North Atlantic or mid Pacific,
powerful whether calm or storming
or perhaps some sea,
the Mediterranean or Caribbean,
or even the Aegean,
or possibly some gulf or inlet
fjord or strait, bay or quiet harbor.
Hell even a lake will do,
or a river for that matter.

It’s what we need. It’s what’s lacking.
We should be sitting here watching the sun
take its leave over water, a real sunset,
an irresistible seascape
telling us where and how we fit in all this.


J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Black Coffee Review, Literary Yard, Sparks of Calliope, Synchronized Chaos, Madswirl, Journal of Expressive Writing, Lightwood, and Highland Park Poetry.

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