By Peter Y. Chou,

Time Haiku Poem Notes
1:48 am
Moon of the Green Corn,
Sturgeon Moon, August Full Moon—
on Goethe's birthday.
Full Moon occurred at 10:35 Greenwich Mean Time
(2:35 am PDT). Green Corn Moon & Sturgeon Moon
are Native American Full Moon names for August.
Moon was full when Goethe (1749-1832) was born
at Noon, August 28, 1749 (Goethe's Autobiography).
2:05 am
Shadow is passing
over you as brightness dims—
Eclipse is coming!
Lunar Eclipse: A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through a part of the Earth's shadow. This occurs only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, the Moon is always full during a lunar eclipse. The Lunar Eclipse of August 28, 2007 began on the West Coast of United States at 1:51 am & ended at 5:24 am.
2:48 am
Ink of the Dark Moon—
Brushstroke of the Earth hides you
from the Golden Sun.
The Ink Dark Moon is a book of love poetry by Ono no Komachi (b. 834 A.D.) & Izumi Shikibu (974-1034 A.D.). It was translated by Jane Hirshfield & Mariko Aratani, Vintage Books, New York, 1990. Ono no Komachi's poem: "Seeing the moonlight / spilling down / through these trees, / my heart fills to the brim / with autumn." Izumi Shikibu's deathbed poem: "The way I must enter / leads through darkness to darkness— / O moon above the mountains' rim, / please shine a little farther / on my path."
3:33 am
O bright Sturgeon Moon,
your shining eye is blinded—
Cyclops in his cave!
In Greek mythology, a Cyclops is a giant with a single round eye in his forehead. In Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus releases three Cyclopes, sons of Uranus & Gaia, from Tartarus's dark pit. They provide Zeus's thunderbolt, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon's trident. The gods use these weapons to defeat the Titans. In Homer's Odyssey (Book IX), Odysseus encounters the Cyclops Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, in a cave and blinded him. According to Gaskell, Cyclopes are symbolic of divine powers upon higher planes of consciousness [G.A. Gaskell, Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths, Julian Press, New York (1960), p. 196]
3:50 am
Where are you? Can't see you.
Can't find you in my mind—
Blackness everywhere!
I was able to view the lunar eclipse from my apartment porch in Mountain View, California. With my small binoculars, I saw the earth's shadow creeping over the moon. However, when the moon was totally eclipsed at 2:52 am, it was difficult to spot the moon anywhere in my binoculars. Frustrations! Frustrations! With my distance glasses, I was able to trace a faint reddish brown moon. Was this Mother Teresa's anguish when she dwelled in spiritual darkness for 50 long years?
3:52 am
Full Moon of August—
This is your time of sorrow.
Dark night of the soul!
At its peak, the moon appeared reddish brown to blood red (NASA Lunar Eclipse Page). Pondering further on Mother Teresa's spiritual plight (Time 9-3-2007 and NY Times, 8-29-2007), I thought of Saint John of the Cross and his Dark Night of the Soul. Wrote this haiku on August 25, 2007: "How strong is your faith?— / Rocks may crumble. Light may fail. / But cling on to Hope."
3:55 am
A glimmer of hope—
a crescent of light appears—
soon you'll see again.
When a slim crescent of light appeared on the left side of the Moon, I realized that this was the beginning of the end of the lunar eclipse. When everything escaped from Pandora's box, the only thing left was "Hope"— this is what we must cling to if our faith is lagging.
4:04 am
O Babe in my arms—
each moment you grow brighter—
one step at a time.
As the Moon recovered a quarter of her brightness, I felt the Moon as a Babe in my arms, and tell her that her ordeal is coming to an end. Just take baby steps one at a time. Lao Tzu said in the Tao Te Ching LXIV: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." No matter how difficult our goal is, we must be bold in making a beginning and keep faith in our work.
4:52 am
A slice of orange
in the pre-dawn sky— Breakfast
for the morning Sun?
With light expanding to 1/3 of the Moon's upper left side, it appeared as an orange section. Once, I asked a 3-year old girl where is the Moon in the morning, she replied "The Sun ate up the Moon for breakfast." It was such a fresh answer that I'm using it here in this haiku.
5:10 am
Wonder of wonders—
the Moon growing to fullness
right before my eyes.
The Moon has recovered 75% of its fullness with only a quarter at the lower right in darkness. Usually, we notice the changing phases of the Moon from day to day. Here, time is speeded up during the Lunar Eclipse. Wonder of wonders unfolding right before our eyes! It's truly a miracle to behold.
5:24 am
O Hare in the Moon—
send your elixirs to Earth
and blessings for all.
Hare in the Moon: Chinese Taoist folklore tells of a hare in the moon under a cassia tree pounding in the pestle and mortar to make the Elixir of Immortality. How to see the hare in the moon. Hare mythology: Hare represents rebirth, rejuvenation, resurrection, intuition, 'light in darkness'. It is associated with sacrificial fire and 'life through death'. It is a fertility symbol and typifies feminine periodicity. The Easter hare symbolizes dawn and a new life.
5:30 am
That is full. This is full.
This fullness comes from that fullness
and everywhere is fullness.
This is the Invocation to Isa Upanishad (c. 500 B.C.)
"That is full. This is full. This fullness comes from that fullness. Take this fullness from that fullness and all that remains is fullness." Sun is full of light. The Moon is full. Moonlight comes from Sunlight. Even when there's no moonlight, Sun is still full because Consciousness is full.

Notes & Web Links:

The above dozen haikus were written from 1:48 am to 5:30 am along with sketches of the lunar eclipse as it occurred on August 28, 2007 viewed from my apartment porch in Mountain View, California. At 1:48 am (beginning of eclipse), the Full Moon appeared in the southeast of the sky. At 3:52 am (full lunar eclipse), the Dark Moon was in the southern sky. At 5:24 am (end of eclipse), the Full Moon was in the southwest of the sky, visible near my door. To show the craters of the moon during the lunar eclipse, I used an image of the full moon and darkened it in Adobe Photoshop 6.0. This was done creating a new layer, making a circle covering part of the full moon, fill with black, making opacity 50%-70%, flatten image, and saving the 2"x2" image in jpg format. To fit in the above table, the image was reduced to 1"x1" (72 pixels x 72 pixels). The simulated lunar eclipse images rendered in Photoshop resemble my original pen sketches. After the haikus were written, notes were added as meditations to this Lunar Eclipse. The "blood red" lunar eclipse (3:52 am) was taken from the photo at San Francisco Chronicle article of 8-29-2007. When the Moon returned to fullness at 5:24 am, I thought about the Hare in the Moon and its Elixir of Immortality to bless the Earth. At 5:30 am, I recall the invocation to the Isa Upanishad (circa 500 B.C.) that "this fullness comes from that fullness and everywhere is fullness"— because Pure Consciousness is always full of Awareness even in our dreams and deep sleep. That's why I've removed the black background of the last image. In its place, I used a radial gradient of 50%-100% yellow to symbolize that Consciousness is full of light.

Total Lunar Eclipse: August 28, 2007
(By Fred Espenak, NASA)

Lunar Eclipse on August 28th
(By Alan MacRobert, Sky and Telescope, 8-21-2007)

Lunar Eclipse: A Red Moon on the Rise
(By Julie Sevrens Lyons, San Jose Mercury News, 8-27-2007)

Lunar Eclipse: Rare, out-of-this-world sight
(By Tom Spears, National Post, Toronto, 8-28-2007)

Hundreds skip sleep to witness 'exceptional' total lunar eclipse
(By David Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle, 8-29-2007)

Time-lapse photos of lunar eclipse in San Jose
(Photo by Josie Lepe, San Jose Mercury News, 8-29-2007)

Nighthawks moonstruck by lunar eclipse show
(Edmonton Sun News, Alberta, Canada, 8-29-2007)

Lunar eclipse: Eyre Peninsula photo gallery
(ABC West Coast, Australia, 8-29-2007)

Lunar Eclipse Wows on Oregon Coast
(Photos by Tiffany Boothe,, Oregon, 8-30-2007)

Lunar Eclipse of July 26, 2000
(Photo by Noel Munford, Palmerston North Astronomical Society, New Zealand)

The Moon
(Photos by Brian Lockett, Goleta Air & Space Museum)

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (8-30-2007)