Stargazing Rabbit

For Day Six of NAPOWRIMO = Kerry’s Prompt

Stargazing Rabbit
Jason Limberg

>Stargazing Rabbit
“My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.”
Richard Adams, Watership Down

Under the moon in the argent lighit,
a rabbit slowly hops into view
as I sit on my back steps
breathing in the scents of gardenia and honeysuckle.
The sky is a perfectly clear June night.
Gazing upwards, I look at the stars –
pinpoints of light against the black sky.
the rabbit grazes quietly in the bed of clover
on my lawn. I forbid my husband to cut it down
for visitors such as this.
I watch as it twitches its ears
and it too looks upward, toward the stars.
We both of us together gaze at the stars –
an owl drifts overhead but ignores the rabbit and me.
the dew falls and the air becomes steamy.
The rabbit goes back to munching.
I look up at the stars again and when I look back
at the rabbit, it is gone.
I begin to cry. A friend of mine committed suicide today.

THE AFTER BITS This rabbit brought to mind how I sat at night pondering the why of a friend’s suicide last June.



22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sanaarizvi
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 08:14:09

    This is heartbreaking 😥 I am deeply sorry for your loss, Toni.


  2. Kerry
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 09:26:45

    I love the silent pause this moment gives to the speaker. A caesura moment to reflect on life and death.


  3. annell4
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 09:43:51

    You have fitted the puzzle together perfectly, the rabbit, the moon and stars, and the death of a friend. The Native People say the stars are our ancestors, I hope you will feel close to your friend, when you stargaze.


  4. ellecee
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 11:23:49

    What a wonderful portrait you paint of the evening as you mourned for your friend. I can picture the scene as if I were there. Thoughts of your friend has brought about such a lovely poem.


  5. Sherry Blue Sky
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 12:42:03

    I love you and the rabbit looking up at the stars together. The impact of the closing lines is profound, after such a perfect moment. It is so hard to lose a friend, especially in that way. This is a beautiful poem.


  6. Jim
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 15:06:14

    But Toni, you were sooo fortunate to have been friends with him. Our friend died in a nursing home. The white cat there, of her own volition , spends time with those who are about to die. Animals seem to sense deaths coming.


  7. Susie Clevenger
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 16:09:16

    So heartbreaking when a friend passes so tragically. The ending is so unexpected, but that is the way when someone takes their own life. I too thought of Watership Down when I looked at the image.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 06, 2019 @ 17:31:45

      It is a lovely image, isn’t It? His death was so sudden and unexpected. I wanted that same sort of unexpected at the end of this poem.

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  8. coalblack
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 18:38:34

    You are like me. I won’t cut anything down that the creatures like. In your poem, the rabbit seems to embody vulnerability and impermanence, even as it savors the clover. No wonder you cried.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 06, 2019 @ 21:22:47

      My poor husband hates that I allow clover and blooming weeds in the yard. I keep a hive of bees as well and they need their sustenance as well. Oddly, the feral cats have not attacked the rabbits. I am grateful for that.


  9. coalblack
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 18:39:58

    Some time when you are in the mood, check out an Emmylou Harris song called “Sweet Old World”. Actually written by another gal, but Emmylou’s is the best. It’s about what this poem is about.


  10. wildchild47
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 18:48:33

    a very piercing poem, that speaks within the silences of the night, as it is filled with wonder and life of its own, and the sharp contrast of the ending you’ve related, reinforces our life’s mysteries and heartbreak –


  11. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 06, 2019 @ 19:33:57

    I love the way you create this wonderful scene, detail by detail, and convey the atmosphere. The ideal backdrop for your grief and reflections – and life-affirming in spite of that fact.

    Two very dear friends of mine – unknown to each other – committed suicide at different times (in 1982 and 1983). It takes a lot of processing.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 06, 2019 @ 21:20:33

      Yes it does. this suicide came a week before my mother died. A lot of processing still happening. the third week of June, yet another friend committed suicide. It was a hard summer for men in their early 60’s.


  12. kim881
    Apr 07, 2019 @ 03:09:30

    A beautiful image of human and rabbit gazing at the stars, Toni!


  13. the #1 Itinerary
    Apr 07, 2019 @ 06:43:20

    Great post 😁


  14. purplepeninportland
    Apr 07, 2019 @ 16:35:56

    So sorry, Toni. I loved that you used that quote from a favorite book of mine.


  15. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Apr 08, 2019 @ 17:12:57

    ingenious to go with Watership Down – it is a book that will always reside on my bookshelf. And your poem – sigh – suicide is so hard to deal with – knowing that they usually think they are doing everyone a favor tells me what anguish they were in – if ONLY they knew how much a hole in hearts they cause… hugs


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