Lunar Eclipse, George Freek

Sally Mehler, Kueny Ranch Ring of Fire, Photograph




Day is a thing without a face.
it dies without grace,
leaving an empty place.
The clouds are dead sailors
drifting in an ice-blue sky.
They stare at nothing,
when they pass by.
I talk to myself
like someone I’ve never known.
I find some words.
but they’re vapid.
They all sound absurd.

George Freek


Review by Arvilla Fee

“Lunar Eclipse” is imbued with haunting sounds. The irregularity of its rhythm and rhyme scheme slows the reader down, makes the reader drink in the deeper meaning lying just below the surface. The first three lines are a thrilling a, a, a – hard-hitting and intentional, all used to describe a day: without a face / without grace / empty place, rhymes that hit like water droplets pinging into a tin bucket. Then the following single line veers wildly off the rhyme scheme and lands like a gut-punch: dead sailors. The next three lines roll by with ice-blue sky/ nothing / pass by, bundled in a filmy hush that one might imagine dead sailors would make if they did indeed drift by. Then comes the two outliers: I talk to myself / like someone I’ve never known, where rhyme is no longer needed, as the common human conundrum of knowing oneself speaks volumes. The poem closes with words, vapid, absurd, which circle back (almost) to the rhyme scheme in beginning of the poem, although the consonants are much harsher than the soft “s” sounds of the first three lines, leaving the reader with an intense sense of lament and loss, much like an eclipse that has reached an end.


Review by Jared Pearce

First, I like the rhymes.  Second, while the final line might seem too redundant, that redundancy is exactly, I think, the point.  Finally, who’s to say that the last line’s subject is more than the words—perhaps it’s also the day, the grace, the place, the clouds, the sailors, the sky, the nothing, the self, the someone.


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