Shiva Moon Poems from a year of mourning

by Maxine Silverman


On December 22, 1999, the full moon coincided with the winter solstice and lunar perigee for the first time in 133 years, resulting in an unusually beautiful and brilliant celestial display.

A month later on January 20, 2000, a total lunar eclipse occurred over the Americas and western Europe. Totality was particularly dramatic over North America where the Red Moon could be observed high overhead on that cold, clear night.

Also significant, the Winter Hexagon was easily visible to the naked eye, as well as a number of other stars and deep-sky objects normally not visible because of the moon’s brightness.

North Star


my father murmured, how

my hand shimmers.

Palsy drew light to him

until it filled his body,

illuminating the long bones

curving around his heart and breath,

drawing shadow limbs

to radiant joints,

until he limned for all the world

some constellation,

my father

telling the dark between stars.

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