Venus & Crescent Moon
An area of high pressure
heralded the clearest starlit sky
that befell the northern hemisphere.
No news or talk of it; no questions why,
except among the experts and the poets.
I saw her there, shimmering,
a vision unexpectedly imbued,
converging, as she was, with crescent moon
with brightest light of vestal pulchritude,
she has no equal in any other sphere.
It was as if no one had heard;
as though her visit was only meant for me
like no one knew of her great revelation.
She peered at me, through branches of a tree;
enticingly, she twinkled wistfully.
Her intentions, abundantly clear
I fancied that she missed a former lover,
as Juno reined the angry monster in.
and left her alone, save one significant other,
who longed to cradle her affection.
But she had only eyes for me
and warmed my soul in coldest dark of night.
Lucky are those, who see the poetry,
who can describe the meaning of her light,
that burns the skin with ancient holy fire.
But we know why she’s here; in truth
to hear the yearnings of a lonely heart,
that craves salvation from another world,
wherein may lie a greater amity and art
that illuminates a world where no one starves.
I know that she’ll be gone too soon,
elsewhere, her love and beauty to disperse,
and leave us feeling empty, but knowing she will
return one day to this, our universe,
to feel her love embrace the crescent moon.
© 2012 John Anstie
(With the high pressure that is lodged over Great Britain at the present time and the clear skies we have enjoyed as a result, last night revealed an astonishing view of Venus in conjunction with a new moon. It was an irresistible view, even through the branches of our trees, it was so bright. I just didn’t feel the cold of the late evening, when I took the photo, it was actually about 11:15pm. In previous weeks, Venus has been in conjunction with Jupiter, which I couldn’t see last night; hence the reference to Juno.
For those with an interest in photography, I took the photo with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Prosumer SLR, zoom to the max at 400mm 1 sec at f6.3 Film speed ISO 200. The camera was tripod mounted, but I suspect some shake as evidenced by fact that Venus looks rather like a dove on the wing, which I rather like )
“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult”
As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life.
His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream!
His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man.
What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
Lovely! And your beautiful words pair perfectly with the delicacy of the photo.
It’s good to know you enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know.
A beautiful poem and photograph…the night sky lures me and especially the moon. So great you could capture Venus and the new moon…a poem written in the sky
“as though her visit was only meant for me” — this line says it all. Love that feeling when, admiring some wonder in nature, it seems as if I’m the only one in the world, and the sight is just for me. Really enjoyed your poem of the night sky. Even though it isn’t uncommon, I always feel like I’m witnessing something rare and wonderful when there is a conjunction of the moon and Venus; even more so if Jupiter is there too. Like you, I very much like the way Venus looks like a dove on the wing in your photo. Beautiful pairing of poem and image.
An engaging poem with a keen sense of the historical and romatic part played by Venus in our cutural history. Great job!
Sorry John, that should read ‘romantic.’
Thank you for the compliment, James. I like the word, romatic, though I know you corrected it later, I think it should enter common usage as meaning ‘romantic with a cold’. And it was chilly out there on the night!
Gorgeous. Caught me from the opening lines.
Wonderful poem John, and the picture is just, wow! 😀
Thanks Stacey. The picture is not what you’d call technically high Q, but I love that Venus looks like a dove in flight…
Venus, represents love on an intense emotional level
the moon is the shadow that will reflect her light, letting
you see and feel what you need to see and feel…
yes for you I think …
The poem is very much with the photo…
You write beautifully …
Thank you for sharing
Thank you, LadyBlueRose, for your comment and for taking time to visit. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. It is just that; all about the intense light of love…
you are very welcome, I am enjoying reading your thoughts into words…
you have a really great energy running within you and your words…
wow john…this is very cool…both..pic and poem…they go hand in hand..capturing the wonder and yearning that casts a spell on the observer..sometimes i wish they could talk…but in a way they can…right?
You’re right, Claudia, they can talk.. in a a quintessentially poetic way: with the ultimate economy of words. Thank you so much for your visit and comment.
First the image is just stunning. Even looking at the moon/Venus pairing in my local horizon seemed to pale in comparison to your photo. With that out of the way, I much like how you seamlessly went from astronomical event to an almost fairy tale, your words precisely and wisely chosen, descriptive and told with the interested but seemingly detached voice of a storyteller. So much to admire here!
Thank you Ben. That is more than a cogent comment, if I may say. It is also very complimentary, and I appreciate that from you.
I really enjoyed your poem, John, because I too feel the magic in this celestial arrangement at the moment, like moons and planets are conspiring to bring us good fortunes of the heart.
Thanks for your comment, Q. It’s funny how I’ve been complaining about losing my muse lately, truth is I’ve been a bit busy with ‘worldly’ stuff. But, having tried to photograph the scene the previous evening, at the start of a really busy morning yesterday, it just hit me “Venus and The Crescent Moon” rolled into my head and it spilled out of my head from there. Strange isn’t it, but, as always, the skies above our heads, the universe and all its glory, always so inspiring. And, yes, let’s hope for good fortunes of the heart as well as in every other aspect of our lives.
Beautifully crafted poem, John ~ love the romanticism within it & your poignant hypothesis towards the end … but … just maybe … perhaps … Her visit was only meant for you? 🙂
Yeah, don’t know why I bothered sharing this, when I know she was only here for me ;-). And, speaking of romanticism, I think I should have put that line in somewhere: “she was amazing last night”.
Thanks for visiting and commenting, Peter.