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MOTH AND MOON by Nisaba Merrieweather

Under lights, the white moth does crazy spirals of distress, ever faster and more jagged.

If we can restrain ourselves, and live as nature intended with only the darkness - even for an hour - she is calmer, her only reference point the gibbous moon.

“Hello, sister,” I hear myself say as I look up, but she does not answer - I know she hears. No matter how distant she is and how quiet my whisper, the moon always hears.

Below her, the moth cruises through the night-garden, still heavy with the sunset of jasmine and gardenias, seeking out their nectaries and probing them with her furry proboscis. I must be a looming giant to her, a skyscraper, but still she is calm and unhurried, trusting me not to eat her when her back is turned.

Below me are my infant cabbages. In the coming weeks they will swell and thicken, and their colours will darken. Now, even in the spare moonlight, they are a pale spring-green despite the bite of summer. If she were a different kind of moth, she would take an unholy interest in my cabbages, but this one prefers rich-scented flowers, and I prefer her to her smaller cousins.

Tomorrow morning she will be sleeping on the timber beam holding up the metal roof over my deck. She will dream and drowse there until sunset. While she dreams, I will turn some compost into the fresh-dug garden beds and plant another generation of tomatoes and eggplants for autumn fruit, to succeed the exhausted spring planting. 

They will thrive with animal-based protein in the soil for its nitrogen and calcium content. Vegetables and moths are all you need for a peaceful life. That, and for your enemies to be buried deeply under the mulch.


Nisaba Merrieweather was born in 1960 and is not yet dead. She started writing in 1969 at age eight, and hasn't worked out how to stop. Thankfully, all her output before this century has been lost. She is a storyteller and poet, and has won or placed in over 70 online poetry competitions in the last fifteen years. She has one novel currently being considered for publication, two others waiting for another final edit, a fourth in progress, and a fifth idea eagerly waiting its turn. Some of the prevailing themes explored in her work are the alienation in our society of marginalised people especially aging women, dark humour, LGBTQI life-experience, spirituality, and philosophy. Since the covid plague forced an early retirement on her, she has become more serious about her writing, and has found a second home in the Outback Writers' Centre.

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תגובה אחת

Amanda Rose
Amanda Rose
21 באפר׳

A poetic piece of information about the humble moth. Though, I am not so sure about the ending.

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