Monday, April 2, 2012

Receding Moon: An Origami Book

I've been getting a lot of mileage out of a recent poem I wrote called "Receding Moon," on account of the unusual format I found to share it: I made it into a mini-chapbook called an "origami book." You can learn how to do this yourself from the folks at the Origami Poems Project(TM), which has its world headquarters in Rhode Island. Click here to see a video of how to make your own origami book.

You can get a free Microsoft Publisher template from the Origami Poems people that's all set up and ready to go. Basically, you arrange all the pages on one side of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Then you start folding. Finally, you make a single cut with your scissors. Voila--it's a book!

Your little book will have eight pages. Here is a close-up of the first two inside pages of my book.

I have been giving away dozens of these. As the Origami Poems folks would say, "Free the Poets!" If you do make your own book, be sure to give the Origami Poems Project a credit line and help spread the word. BTW kids love this format, and adults do, too.

Finally, here's the complete poem. It was inspired by two things: the scientific fact that the moon is indeed receding away from the earth; and the beauty of the moonlight on the desert landscape in our backyard. (Don't be afraid to laugh at the end of the first stanza--yes, it's supposed to be funny!)

They say the moon is receding
bit by bit, like a person who needs
to be elsewhere and wants to break
it to you slowly, so slowly
you don’t even notice.

You are blinded by that full light
over the landscape, bright enough
to see it all except the source,
which is somewhere behind
the ridgeline of the house.

The light creates expectation.
You sense something will happen,
a vision, a sign. You look for a totem,
animal motion in the spotlight,
but see nothing.

Still, the shimmering silence
calls you. You want to step inside it
like stepping inside a photograph.
All the colors are silver.
You don’t ever want to leave.

There you stand, at the window,
a chambered nautilus
in a world of pearl,
immersed in what you long for
until the sun comes up.