This morning at 5:30 AM, Adam and I woke up to see the Full Beaver Blood Moon. No, it’s not the world’s worst menstrual cycle, it’s the combination of a full moon and a lunar eclipse that makes the moon turn a reddish-brown hue. Early November’s full moon is traditionally known as the Beaver Moon because it was the season when Native Americans and early settlers set beaver traps to procure warm furs for the coming winter. (So say NASA and People Magazine!)
The pre-dawn sky was a clear deep blue with a few sharply bright stars. The moon hung low in the black bare branches, a soft russet color that reminded me of a peach or plum. Just a small crescent of white light was visible at the right-hand edge.
Enjoy this poem I wrote in November 2020, which appears in my new book, Made Man (Little Red Tree, 2022).
Full Beaver Moon
The names of moons are the names of the body.
deems this the period
to be thick and trapped.
Scratching moon. Freezing moon.
Pages worn to wrinkles, soft hide.
The names of moons are out of season.
Older than milk, not yet the worm’s long night,
the almanac would say you’re no one
on that screen where supple globes
and thickets invite heated planting.
The names of moons call you otherwise.
Call you buck, hard and velveted
hunter, peeping strawberry nub.
Though the almanac on the cold bathroom shelf
sags under centerfolds stacked by men
who offer you murdered coats,
you bare your blue
and fullest phase in skies
winter-clean and dark.