Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

The Bane of the Blooming Moon

The Bane of the Blooming Moon
In a cottage
at the end
of a trail of tears
a newborn baby
was cradled in a doctor’s arms

Beside himself
with terror,
the father snatched the boy,
and raced outside.

With an axle
he crushed the icy lake surface
and plunged the child in.

It came out crying.

The old rancher
with uncouth manners
looked upon the tiny infant
and predicted its demise,
but it had other ideas
fighting off the convulsions
that wracked his body,
the temperatures
nothing but a bathtub of ice
could dispel.

With his parents
traveling the vaudeville circuit
he slept in the drawers of cheap hotels,
was cared for by chorus girls

At seven,
his mother,
the singer,
took a very public dose
of mercury
though her marriage
and career

As he retraced the steps
to his ancestral home,
clouds dispersed
and the moon transformed
the disconnect
between words and thoughts,
shadows at the bottom of his soul.

The church bells chimed
across the makeshift bases
set up in a field
of weeds and thistles.

Near the swamp
a wildcat’s back arched
to the sky
as if to ward off evil.

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9 thoughts on “The Bane of the Blooming Moon

  1. A tough life, beautifully depicted.


  2. Love this but I must admit to wanting to know more. Wonderful imagery.


  3. Is this based on the 1941 Wolfman movie? That’s my guess based on your tags (without them, I would have thought this was an awesome, though decidedly un-autobiographical, sketch).

    Assuming I’m right (and if I’m wrong, I’m babbling about something no one else cares about, but that’s par for the course for me)–I really enjoyed that movie (although I haven’t seen it in many (30+) years.

    Even a man who is pure of heart
    and says his prayers by night
    may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms
    and the moon is full and bright.


    • If you’re babbling, and you’re not, I still would listen. I actually think though it’d have to be tested, that your babbling probably makes more sense to me than that which is said by those who apparently aren’t.

      The title is taken from the quote you supplied. I’d originally entitled it The Monster and Me, why will soon be clear, but a friend suggested I give it a little more context (I’d let him in on the idea from the beginning) by having at the start, “Even a man who is pure in heart…” I thought about it and actually liked the latter part of the sentence better and then messed around with the words a bit and got something I really liked the sound of. Come to find out after (as is often the case) that it even makes sense!

      The plan was to present both Lon Chaney Jr and my life every other stanza. I did that for a while and then got to thinking I might mix it up a little and liked what came of it. Now one can’t tell who is who.

      A great movie! I’m planning on seeing it again very soon.


  4. I first read this excellent poem—the imagery demands one to look, to see what’s being said—when the title was “The Monster and Me.” I read it, not as being of monsters, but as a tale of a supremely harsh, though thoroughly human life unfolding, the first half of one anyway.


    • Thanks for the kind words.
      A wise choice to change the title then as it gives a better flavor of the poem. I’ve always had problems with titles – I used to see them as a necessary evil but am coming around to seeing them as a potentially integral part of the whole.


      • Titles are wild beasts. I get an idea then I title it, tame an image with a name, sorta.
        But sometime later, when the imagery is more settled, another comes to mind and often that title takes the text in a different direction; then a new title pops up and so on.
        Since the originating idea is first made manifest in the drawing, which stays the same throughout, that image acts as kind of a compass to keep me somewhat on topic. And the title then seems more a rudder than figurehead.


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