by Rodd Whelpley

Published in Issue No. 250 ~ March, 2018
on my friend Sheila Avsec’s encaustic “Blood Moon”


there’s a moon

and men

have walked on it.

A bright,

thirsty thing

pinned to the sky.

We have swooned,

gone mad beneath it,

given it powers

beyond itself,

claimed it shines,

as if it sparks enough

even to melt varnish petals

or a beeswax candle.


It pulls

at the liquids of this planet –

stirs and sanguines

our waters,

brings down

our blood

with its orbits

and attractions,

the aesthetic

of an earth

we can’t dismantle.


We’ve planted a flag

on the Sea of Tranquility,

left footprints

on the Ocean of Storms,

without wavering

the state of that rock,

the planet, stars or

the vacant nothing

in between.



with no accounting

for this woman


with a crockpot

heater, brush,

a knife,

who makes

solid into solid,

pushing fluid

on a canvas

stretched tighter

than the night

pouring warm colors

over cold – scraping

new away from old,


cloud obscured

above a tree’s black

and empty arms

this cream caged moon,

a sap and pollen satellite

that leeks out crimson

and sheds its tears

in lavender.

account_box More About

Rodd Whelpley is an “outside the academy” poet interested in the intersection, operation and value of poetry in the work-a-day world. He manages an electric efficiency program for 32 cities across Illinois and lives near Springfield with his wife, son and memories of good Golden Retrievers. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, 2River View, *82 Review, Right Hand Pointing, Shot Glass Journal, Spillway, The Naugatuck River Review, Eunoia Review, Antiphon, The Chagrin River Review and other journals.