28- Nate Leland


I watched the moon rise like she was forgetting
another lover every minute,
like tonight… she was finally
gonna make it,
gonna trampoline off clouds and find her way without

Gravity been too heavy,
and the oceans are exactly as big as they seem.
Do you know what it’s like
when even water follows you everywhere you go,
but doesn’t have the time or inclination to touch you?

She was the opposite of meteorites,
bound for space where she would revolve around no one.

When your life is a reflection of another’s light,
how would you feel about the one who monthly blotted you out
and recarved your face every night in shades of his image?

Tonight she is untarnished.
Tonight her texture is only the shadows of her own character.
Tonight she is so beautiful and generous,
the man in the moon nothing but mirage,
a Rorschach of hope in her craters,
a simulacrum of daylight in her waterless eyes.
Tonight she convenes a survival school
to teach every trapped and frightened that running is only cowardice when you
don’t have the courage to do it.

And I sit,
pruning in bathwater,
wondering how much I have left to learn
about motion,
because orbit is just falling around something,
and tomorrow just another word feigning difference.

This is gravity.

What are wishes and words
to that?


Nate Leland is a high school English teacher, a former university instructor, a youth poetry slam coach, a nationally competitive slam poet, a lover of ice cream cookie sandwiches and swing dancing (though not at the same time), a proud Mainer by birth, and a penguin-at-heart. He holds a bachelors degree in English Education from Ithaca College and a master’s degree from University of Maine. Nate has self-published one collection of poems, Lifeboat, and one CD, which he always has copies of at shows and open mics. He has run youth poetry workshops, as well as workshops for coaches/teachers/adult poets/other penguins-at-heart from Northern Maine to New York, and was chosen to perform at the 2007 Performance Poetry Extravaganza at SUNY Oneonta. Nate loves to work with anyone who is willing to give their time and their love to poetry, youth, or preferably both.

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