The Bigness of Small Poems – # 10 in a Series – Jim Harrison (again)

American writer, Jim Harrison (1936-2016)

American writer, Jim Harrison (1936-2016)

from After Ikkyu

– 3 –

I’ve wasted too much moonlight.
Breast beating. I’ll waste no more moonlight,
the moon bullied by clouds drifts west
in her imponderable arc, snared for a half
hour among the wet leaves in the birdbath.

Jim Harrison from After Ikkyo and Other Poems, Shambhala, 1996

I have a soft spot for poet and novelist, Jim Harrison these days! My second pick of one of his small poems in a row!

I re-entered Harrison’s poetry after his death last month and have been delighted by what I have found. This poem comes from a small collection of Zen-inspired poems he wrote more than twenty years ago.

How much of what is beautiful in my lifetime have I stopped noticing? How much have I wasted? I can never get too many reminders to wake up and pay attention! So I am so grateful for this:

I’ve wasted too much moonlight. Yes.


  1. Liz
    Posted April 28, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Or as the inimitable David Bowie put it, “let’s dance, under the moonlight, the serious moonlight…”

  2. Richard Osler
    Posted April 29, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Serious moonlight. Yes. Hadn’t heard these lines by Bowie before. Thank you. I love how language enables us to create a freshness even with over-used images like the moon. Just adding serious to moonlight makes me see moonlight in a new way! Tonight, the moonlight was really serious! Too serious to waste!

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