The Songs: Sun, Moon, Earth

Detail of Four Seasons Mosaic by Marc Chagall in Chicago

The Songs: Sun, Moon, Earth

She rises for others, but never as for us–
a long-bowed cello note sustained
as she wakes, red-breasted,
timpani beat the rhythm of the day,
joined by bird-flutes and wind-harps
while she dresses in gold,
she spins light in contrapuntal streams
with shadow rhythm. Our own star,
crowned giver of life and death.


The moon sings with silvery voice,
her soft hums become operatic arias.
Though on her arid surface, men stood,
and watched the Earth rise. Still, but not silent,
no mere satellite, she demands the spotlight
shine on her. Owl-hoots, wolf-howls, rustles
of restless night creatures are percussion to
her melody. But in the morning, she smiles
as three crows call, the trees wave,
and the birds sing her a lullaby.


And here-
we rotate, revolve, reflect in repeated reverberations—
Earth has its own music,
sea-sighs and deep-belly rumbles,
bird-tweets and dog barks, baby-giggles, and lovers’ moans.
Bangs and bombs, birth cries and death-rattles.
But listen as a rooftop fiddler plays
all the color, all the light–
the songs of earth, moon, sun, and stars.

For dVerse. Laura asked us to write poems with three separate stanzas using one of her word choices. Sun, Moon, Earth was the only one that really appealed to me.

47 thoughts on “The Songs: Sun, Moon, Earth

  1. The music threads beautifully through this piece, managing to shake free of the words and exist on a level of its own… right from that first long-bowed cello note. Lovely poem.

  2. The auditory images are spectacular here, references to a universe that hums: “long-bowed cello notes,” tympani, silvery voice of moon, and earthly creatures. Thanks, Merril!

  3. a veritable symphony of sun and satellites Merril – you packed such vivid sight and sound that we can only marvel at our cosmic milieu.
    “listen as a rooftop fiddler plays
    all the color, all the light–”

    • Thank you!
      I actually remember discussing this recently with older child (as one does 😏). I said the moon was definitely female, but I couldn’t decide about the sun, so I thought the sun is probably non-binary. Too hard to work that into the poem though. 🙂

      • Non-binary is one of those theoretical terms I’ve never understood. If a life form has a sex, it’s either male or female. There aren’t any others. The sun might well not have a sex. There’s no reason why it should, after all.

      • I’ve never experienced it, so it’s hard for me to understand, but people can feel that they are not one or the other (or different from the sex that they were born with). And it’s not a new thing–“two-spirited” people have existed in many cultures. That’s how I think of the sun, two-spirited.

      • It’s all theoretical, and I’m a sceptic. As theories, they don’t convince me. Seems like a funny idea that only Native Americans can be two-spirit. That would make it a purely cultural thing. Live and let live though.

      • I’m not going to argue with how my older child feels, or transpeople. Who am I to say their feelings aren’t valid? 🤷‍♀️

        I don’t think it’s only Native Americans who can be, I think it’s that they were accepted. If it’s not accepted or you don’t have a word for it, you don’t voice it. Like some countries say they have no gay people. 🙂

      • It’s not something I’d argue about either. We all have different beliefs. Some are just more believable than others. Like the theory of evolution or the big bang.They sound reasonable, but I’m not a scientist so I’m happy to wait for the proof 🙂

  4. There is melody strummed from allthe various rhythms from sun moon and earth. This is just wonderful reading.
    Happy you dropped by my blog.


  5. I believe the birds for the Sunrise would wake anyone up, even me. Your moon is lovely, it can cast a spell, her chorus here is of my kind, I might even howl and show my fangs.
    For us on the earth, I am glad you included the fiddler on the roof, as Chaim Topol, most famous star in the “Fiddler on the Roof” productions and movie, Chaim Topol, best known for his portrayal of milkman Tevye, died this week of Alzheimer’s Disease.

    • Thank you, Jim. I’m pleased you enjoyed my words.
      I often include the fiddler, as I connect with him as a symbol of my heritage–drawn from the stories of Sholem Aleichem and Chagall’s paintings. I just read Topol’s obit in the NY Times. That’s sad that he had Alzheimer’s.

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