A late-night cloudburst releases glitter,
shimmers the dim street. From our porch,
we watch a full moon appear.
stare around the edge of your new book.
There is a lunar eclipse tonight.
Hmm, I answer. We don’t want to miss that.
Unexpected semicircle divides night clouds.
Helps us search the darkening sky.
Dusk fully suppressed, we witness
a black rainbow frame the horizon.
Its ghostly arch
dismantles our routine cosmos – constellations
bid hello and farewell equally as planets
rotate to eons-old cadence –
the dependable moon.
our eyes accept slender luminosity as it stuns
We realize an onyx rainbow
cleaves each nightsky, divides midnights
and opens veils.
The arc buttresses tonight’s
grandeur. Backlights with charcoal powders
we often fail to notice.
host this rainbow’s sweep as we recognize
each night horizon realigns surprise.
Zero dark weeps shadows over our bodies
and purges hesitation.
We grab glimmer
to outshine sharp spines of night.
sparks from a lunar kiss flaring a view
of what thrives behind moons, blaze animating
phases to encourage –
ignore the gray west,
and supplant each night with the color of craving.
Sam Barbee has a new poetry collection, Apertures of Voluptuous Force (2022, Redhawk Publishing). He has three previous collections, including That Rain We Needed (2016, Press 53), a nominee for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best poetry collections of 2016. Also, Uncommon Book of Prayer (2021, Main Street Rag) which chronicles family travels in England.
His poems appeared recently in Salvation South, Dead Mule School, Asheville Poetry Review, and Adelaide Literary Magazine, among others; plus on-line journals American Diversity Report, Verse Virtual, The Voices Project, and Grand Little Things. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee.
Author’s Backstory: “Midnight Rainbow” is a newer poem called forth on a rainy spring night as my wife and I were idle on the screened porch. It rained briefly, but with the intensity of a late-afternoon cooling down shower. In sunlit hours, rainbows appear after such downpours, and so the moon, in all her mysteries, should be able to generate a rainbow’s spectrum. Perhaps born in her eclipse. Lightning bugs came out to twinkle in celebration and deepened the black night’s intensity. And of course, as with so many of my poems, languishing love is at its heart.
Editor’s Notes and/or Image Credit: Rainbows are produced by sunlight refracted by fine water droplets, either directly in daytime or indirectly by the moon reflecting sunlight at night; the latter is called a lunar rainbow. The image is a lunar rainbow over Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, US [photograph by Arne-kaiser]