Poetry 101 Rehab: Smoke and Moonlight

Mara Eastern’s Poetry 101 Rehab
hosted by Andy Townend
Prompt: Smoke


Central Park

“Smoke and Moonlight”

Threads of smoke entwine, blinding,
binding, drawing the world in upon
sweat and skin. Fabrics interwoven
with patchouli and camphor block
the pale light of the waning crescent,
its last hours barred by homespun cloth.

Smoldering incense and opium in the holder,
the flickering flame of a green candle, not
light enough to lay bare beads of sweat
on skin as they offered themselves up to me,
drug-willing, in sacrifice to forever dreams.

The garden remains, burnt tent poles and
the circle of the fire pit stones still mark
time rent from stream and order for a while.
Essence of those nights, the threads
of smoke that bind the out-of-time to time
call back, lend body to sweet-savored ghosts,
passions hid no longer from the dying moon.

Copyright © 2015-09-08, by Liz Bennefeld. All rights reserved.
Oddly, this is a compilation of images evoked by a recent rereading of Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins and from Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series…and where those led me.


7 thoughts on “Poetry 101 Rehab: Smoke and Moonlight

  1. I loved the Moonstone – its a wonderful story, although I think the Woman in White had the edge. I loved Bettering the butler he was an amazing character!

    Great poem – makes me think of a sweat lodge or an opium den (only seen them on TV by the way!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Glad that you like it. The physical setting of my poem would be closer to tents out in the woods during the late 60s to early 70s. Minnesota is fairly wooded, rural in the upper northwest part with lots of rolling hills and small lakes.

      I don’t think I bought the Woman in White. I’ll have to grab it from the Gutenberg project and take a look. I got Moonstone because of its being touted as the first real “mystery” novel. I think that was in the late 70s, when I was still doing “corporate” and had book money for various hard-bound classical book of the month series. 🙂



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