Eighth Moon

A dark forest, an unexpected connection.

Eighth Moon
Blackberries, made using Midjourney, by Reivin Alexandria

—thirst fuels even the tamest—

Morning and night become bereft lovers.
Fingers of dawn caress the trees, tickling
fields of deer grass. Shadows roll into the seam
of foothills, intertwining inside steep mountain crests.

This year, when snow fell, so did the floodgates.
Barren branches harmonize in winter’s
early dark.

A ghost lingers in the eves of a blooming
dogwood tree. Candlelight drips
with the salt of something unknown.

And what should come of me?
A ripple evolving outward,
ebbing back into that pond.

Panic shadows action.
Fixing color before line changes the dynamic,
but what happens to a world preserved in plastic?

The river’s smell dissipates into dust,
the rocks grow thirsty too,
and an avalanche of stones approaches you.

Clean the earwigs from where you listen
and find yourself suddenly
on the scent of the truth.

Reason becomes a staunch vibrato splintering your heart’s glass.
And home remains a hope in your bones
as you drift along the vagrant current.

As late blackberries wither under summer’s
ripest heat, a sour fear resides:

—sometimes, no reward lies along a thorny path—


My name is Madeline Tykeson. I am a poet and a Western vagabond. I received a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University in 2017.After I graduated, I spent more time outside than inside. For a few years, I lived off-grid, deep in the Stanislaus Forest. Located in Central California, the closest town was Twain Harte, an area Mark Twain gathered inspiration. I found this to be a coincidence, as I had similar intentions to create in the woods. My inspiration largely comes from the life I live, and how I see the world.