Lunar Landscape

By W. S. Merwin

Nobody can tell you
anything new about
moonlight you have seen it
for yourself as many
times as necessary

nobody else ever saw
it as it appeared to you
you have heard all about it
but in the words of others
so that you fell asleep

it was photographed but
somewhere else and without
what was happening inside
its light and whenever it
was rhymed it disappeared

you cannot depend on
it use it for much send
it anywhere sell it
keep it for yourself bring
it back when it has left

and while it is lighting
the ocean like a name while
it is awake in the leaves
you do not need to look at it
to know it is not there


"Lunar Landscape" from TRAVELS by W.S. Merwin, copyright © 1992 by W.S. Merwin. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.