Sunday, August 21, 2016

August's Full Moon

Silhouette Tease

Wolf runs from the prairie
jounces into the sky
unable to 
snatch the rabbit 
stuck on lunar highlands

Once the moon glowed
clean as bone
until sun flung rabbit there
for resisting the bidding
to dash him
the earth

Now sun lures wolf
hoodwinks him with light beams
to reveal the rabbit 
in the moon
Sun laughs as wolf howls
at his prey

                                                        - Penny Wilkes

The moon rabbit appears in fables, folklore and poetry around the world. Sansanka, the moon in Sanskrit translates, "having the marks of a hare."

In a Buddhist fable, a monkey, jackal and rabbit happened upon a beggar who needed food. While the monkey gathered fruits from trees, the jackal caught a lizard and stole a pot of milk-curd. The rabbit only ate grass and had nothing to offer the beggar. She flung herself into the fire the man had built. Suddenly, the man revealed himself as the god, Sakra. Touched by the rabbit's sacrifice, he designed her likeness on the moon for everyone to see.

The Han Dynasty poets referred to the "Jade Rabbit" or the "Gold Rabbit." These Chinese characters represented a word for the moon: 玉兔  金兔.

A Taoist fable revealed a hare, the gemmeous, who served the genii. The creature ground an elixir of immortality on the moon. 

Imperial Chinese robes of the 18th-century revealed the white hare making the elixir in embroidery.

Told in a Native American Cree legend, a rabbit wished to ride the moon. The crane agreed to fly him there.  As the rabbit's weight pulled during the trip, it stretched the bird's legs. 

They remained elongated from then on. When they reached the moon, the rabbit touched the crane's head leaving a red mark. The rabbit still rides the moon.

Dance by the light of the August full moon.

     Imagine yourself reveling at Stonehenge near the fire wondering about the rabbit. 

        Choose a character to play in Shakespeare and enjoy a midsummer night's dream.

Marvel at the wonders of the August moon.

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