It is my two-year-old daughter’s first total lunar eclipse. We light butter
lamps and offer special prayers. My father thumbs his prayer beads and
says: “Demons have taken the moon. We must make them return it.”
We gather in the neighbourhood with an assortment of posts, pans, old tins,
conch shells and drums. Sliver by sliver, the earth’s shadow covers the
moon until its rim is a fine luminous line. We strike up a cacophonous
outburst swelled by the yowls of stray dogs and jackals. As the moon
vanishes my eyes pick out Orion’s belt and just across, the glowing red
Aldebaran eye of Taurus. I point these out to my daughter. She says:
‘Look, butter lamps in the sky!’
The moon glides out of the earth’s shadow. My daughter holds out her
winnowing basket to catch it.
falls out of the dusk sky
red sun in its mouth
About this poem
This poem, representing Bhutan, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.