Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lunar landing, January 2017

I was standing at my kitchen door a couple of days ago enjoying what was left of the snow, took this picture with my phone, and captured the moon approaching the branches of our neighbor's poplar tree.

It reminded me of something.

Was it Perry Como singing "Catch A Falling Star And Put It In Your Pocket" from 1957 (2:30)?


Was it Kate Smith singing "When the Moon Comes Over The Mountain" from 1931 (3:21)?


Ah, now I remember.

It reminded me, sort of, of my poem "An Afternoon Encounter" except that my poem was about the sun and an oak tree, not the moon and a poplar.

An Afternoon Encounter
by Robert Henry Brague (1941-)

The winter sun is tangled in an oak
And, white with rage, she struggles to break free.
His icy boughs clutch tightly, try to choke
This one who strayed too near, this enemy.
How fortunate the oak to trap this prize!
What luck just now to catch so rare a prey!
How unexpectedly his victim lies
Imprisoned in his snare at close of day!
But blushing now, embarrassed at her plight,
And fighting on, the sun at last is freed.
Disheveled, she limps homeward for the night
To nurse her wounds. One wound begins to bleed.
The sun, retreating, leaves a crimson stain
And wraps herself in clouds to ease the pain.

Close, but no cigar. They say close only counts in horseshoes.

If you'd like to try your hand at a 14-line sonnet about the moon and a poplar in the style invented by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, a first cousin of both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, the second and fifth wives of King Henry VIII (remembering to use the rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef gg and iambic pentameter), be my guest.

The comment section awaits.


  1. I believe you did well enough that I won't try to compete. Those are two great songs you mentioned.

  2. Snow? Jealous thoughts here.
    And I am very, very glad the sun escaped to rise again another day.

  3. An excellent poem, beautifully conceived and crafted. As you know, I have an honours degree in English Studies with Education and I taught English for 35 years+ so I don't write such remarks lightly. This is a poem to be immensely pleased with. There can't have been many guys in the IBM corporation who could also turn their hand to the creation of great sonnets. I hesitate to take up your challenge as I am not worthy.

  4. An evocative poem especially as I can look out of the window as I write and see a winter sky and the sun dipping towards the trees on the hill in the distance.

  5. I can admire the sonnet on many levels but I have never considered an oak tree and the sun to be enemies. It rather defames oak trees I fear.

  6. Thank you all for your feedback! I may have to change my opinion of Yorkshire Pudding. Anyone who admires my poems can't be a complete blackguard