Moons I have seen

In honour of tonight’s full moon and Valentine’s day, a revisit –

A cold full December moon cresting high over the Clinton schoolyard – staid brick building structures back lit with beams of moonlight, a few lone figures with dogs scuffling, breath in clouds in front of them, a faint dusting of white on the frozen ground.

in summertime the bats swoop down over this little round of track and trampled grass and soccer goalposts. In daytime the children shriek happily or protest the small devastating cruelties of their recess torments.

In the night with the moon bright, these daytime activities echo, ghostly.

In this city interior it is sometimes hard to distinguish the moon from a street lamp – a single globe like so many others – hard to believe the number of cultures that created a Moon Goddess out of this small frail lamp – almost an unremarkable phenomenon in the forest of lights.

A brisk February moon over the farm fields of southern Ontario – Ajax, Port Hope, whisking by in the night, the horn of the train calling out forlorn and hopeful at once, coming, coming, we are coming. As fast as the train goes, the moon does not move, the fields and houses are drowsy in her soft light.

A humid March moon low over the small town of shacks by the jungle – powerful single light of the night, illuminating modest wooden lean-to’s for homes, mud streets, the last tired men heading home after the long day to settle in before the monkeys begin to scream from their trees.

Late in the night when the moon is highest, laying a blue light over this little collection of shacks, only the skinny crazy woman is out – the  woman who went mad with grief, losing her child to one of those childhood illnesses afflicting only the countries closest to the equator.  She wanders in the night, sometimes silent, sometimes still wailing her grief to the unblinking moon, her body still young and beautiful under her rags, her tangled hair a glorious matted mane of dark waves. Tragedy incarnate, the beauty, the insanity, the youth, the grief, the potential, the loss.

The big river is not far.

A singular star-effacing June moon over the playas del este just outside of Havana – a beam of clarity on the ruins of dreams and hopes of generations past – rubble that used to be construction, vacant chicken joints that used to be dreams of prosperity, empty lots that once had been valuable property along the beach.  The most undeveloped, unspoiled and unloved stretch of fine white gleaming sand.

We walked, my new love and I, along the beach, my hand in his, contemplating together the empty shadows of lives unfinished, the dreams of futures never realized, the beginnings left hanging, suspended, abandoned.  The moon held us in its light, showing us the path, a way along the dark beach by its light.

A sharp glaring mystical eye of a moon over the October desert mountain stretch – a penetrating gaze in a landscape that offers nowhere to hide. The mountains present themselves stark dark ochre against the dark blue sky like a childrens’s book of cutouts. Pink highways push northward. Whiffs and shadows of the cultures of the plains, the great warriors, the visionaries, people of power, shimmer around the edges of shrubs, speed limit signs and gas pump exits.

A hazy unreliable November moon watching the square and the streets of Coyoacan, nudging its light into the patio and the windows of the casita azul, empty and haunted. Amidst the teeming millions, the frankly frightening overwhelming labyrinthine megacity, still the nights give themselves to the snaking rising mist of the ghosts of the old souls, the departed, the ancients, the history of the city. Even outside the throbbing discotheques, the shining towers of business and industry, the ancient layers of the Aztec breathe out their pustulent breath until the rays of the sun break the spell yet again, and all manners of ordinary activity return.

A massive May supermoon rising engorged and heavy, menacing as it looms over the city, heaving itself above the downtown highrises and slowly propelling itself up into the sky. In the park, people are stopped silent and clustered, staring, pointing, cel phones out taking pictures of the big ball in the sky over downtown.

I wander the paths of the park, alone with my phone, frustrated at the paucity of the images it’s able to capture of this monstrous moon.  Still, I pace back and forth, stalling, biding time, watching the moon climbing up the sky, waiting out the hours with my heart in my hand at the edge of the park, the street, the sirens, the moon, as my love – no longer new, now a fumbling, faltering marriage – is packing his bags, getting his belongings together, and leaving.

Photo note – usually I use my own photos, but most of these (save the one immediately above) are found from various places on the internet.  However as they were largely not credited where I found them, I have left them without credits here with apologies.

25 thoughts on “Moons I have seen”

  1. At home I ordinarily can’t look at all your pictures, over my connection they come up so slowly I have to go away and do something else while I wait for them maybe to appear. But right now I am at my daughter’s house in the outskirts of Sydney, and I am taking advantage of her high speed internet. For some reason a picture or two of these came up on my computer, but some others had only displayed maybe 1/16 of an inch before I gave up. When I read your text without the pictures showing, I supposed the text referred to the picture above it, but now that I can see them all, they don’t seem to match. But now I counted and there arent even the same number, so no wonder.
    What you say about your marriage makes me feel sad, but there is no moon there to match. I think of the last quarter.


    1. Hi Terron,
      Sorry about your upload troubles – I bet those photo files are a bit big – I’ll look into trying to make them a bit smaller so they aren’t slowing you down so much.

      1. That complaint is now obsolete, since, with my daughter Miranda and her husband Shindouk staying here, they insisted on getting high speed so we could use the phone at the same time or more than one computer could be on line at once. They will have to pay the extra, though, which is about $30 a month.


  2. Beautiful, beautiful. You capture so much here. Have you really been to all these places? Did you really see the woman with the tangled hair? The lines about her mingled beauty and tragedy were my very favorites. And new love changing with the inconstant moon… just wow.

    1. Have really been to all these places (yes I’m that old 🙂 ) and there is something about the moon in the sky that seems to evoke the memories more than anything else.
      That woman with the tangled hair – real. Totally heartbreaking and unnerving.
      Thanks so much for your generous words, Jennie.

    1. Aren’t they spectacular? I do have a growing collection of moon photos in my photo library, but I think you need a serious camera to capture them like these people have… I just LOVE all moon-things… 🙂

  3. Love this love post to the moon and her many faces. So often it can be easy to take her for granted. I love how you brought her vibrant aliveness into focus for us with your photographs and your words.

  4. That seems to be one huge full moon Katalina… and I am pleased you posted as it appears I am not getting your updates … Beautiful photos… and I hope your Valentines day was a full of love 🙂 xxx

    1. This post, unlike most of my posts, is a collection of the photos of others found around the interwebs – but they are spectacular, aren’t they?
      I find the WP reader a bit erratic – sometimes posts show up, sometimes they don’t…
      Best wishes to you, Sue!

  5. what a nice piece to read, and with interesting photos.
    I especially love the first one — sometimes I write verses or haikus inspired or suggested to me by images such as this one. Do you mind if I use it, with credit to you? Not sure when, but someday, some verses will occur to me in companionship with it. 🙂

    1. Hey there, the photos in this post are mostly NOT mine – I found them here and there and did not put proper credits cause I didn’t see names on them, a situation I usually try to avoid.
      But if you wanted to pursue proper accreditation, you might try a google search with the image – sometimes you can find a source that way…

  6. This showed up on my computer today and made me wonder if I have somehow fallen off your list because I haven’t seen anything from Follow Your Nose in a long time, but this one includes a comment I made in 2012, so I was on the list for it. Maybe you haven’Posted anything for a long time, but if you have, I still want to be on the list.


    1. Terron, I was just thinking about you… I’m guessing you are still on the list, but I have been awfully quiet lately so that’s probably why you haven’t had any emails lately. However, I’ll check and see if you are there in the email list, and will even try and get out a post this weekend – it has been a long time… K

    2. Terron, I checked, and I don’t see an email that is obviously yours in the list of email subscribers – can you resubscribe? If not, maybe you want to send me your email address and I can try and invite you. My email is

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