I wake at 4:30am with a thought that I’ve plagiarized my father.

It was that cheddar cheese moon line in my last post “Don’t Forget the Dolphins.” The words that were whispered to me, ever-so quietly, by the right-side lobe of my brain that was backseat driving.

It was offering artful angles on my daily practicalities. Reminding me of the beauty back-dropping my to-do lists.

“Come on, tell them about that rising full moon at dusk. The color of cheddar cheese and bigger than the sun. How it seemed to rise out of the two-lane road as you and the Bohemian drove, side by side, salt-coated from your sunset swim. Go on, tell them.”

Oh, that frontal lobe and its backseat cues. Did it lead me to steal?

Cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese. I wake with this thought that, perhaps, I’d just recently read a poem of my dad’s pairing the moon with a yellow-orange block of dairy.

He’s the poet of the family (and I’m proud to say he was recently given his second Wrangler Award for Outstanding Poetry Book by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum – congratulations, Dad!).

Me, I’m only putting words on the page and justifying margins. And now, I’m wondering if I’m an inadvertent plagiarizer, as well.

I scan the posts from my father’s blog, Dry Crik Journal, trying to find a cheese reference. As I search, I recall growing up with chunks of cheddar as a staple in the family ‘ice box.’ The sharp, pungent scent that would rise from the block as it warmed on the cutting board. My father, passing through the kitchen, to slice a thick slab and snack.

I keep searching his words but my poem perusing turns up empty. I find no reference to cheddar cheese and the moon from my father. Was it some other poet?


Nerve fibers connect and fire some electrical storm of All-things in my head. Intuition and dreams are housed beside logic and systems. To-do lists get mapped to poetry. My brain is one big mix of what’s been soaked in and what wants to seep out. I don’t know where the cheddar cheese and moon came from.

Dad, if I snagged it from you, I apologize, and I’ll offer up credit where it’s rightly due. If I sourced from some other writer in the world, thank you for gifting me the shade of which to describe that rising moon. Cheddar cheese color it was, and you named the palette.

To anyone that loves the moon, or who can appreciate a good chunk of cheddar, let’s all gather round the cutting board in the kitchen. Have a snack and share a slice.


courtesy of quinn.anya
courtesy of quinn.anya

4 thoughts on “Stealing a Slice of the Moon

  1. When I read those lines of yours, Jess, I thought, ‘damn, I wish those were mine’. And only now, as I read this entry do I remember all those cartoons where the moon was made of cheese. It makes a fine poetic connection. But plagiarism–I think we all steal parts of ideas we like from one another. I like your cheddar cheese moon. xxooxxoo, Dad


    1. Ever-the-supportive dad! I don’t care why you gave the compliment, your words made my day. Thank you! Now, I’m just not sure where the cheddar moon came from. But the one in the sky is for all of us to share.


  2. “Everybody knows, the moon is made from cheese”, with this line the very British clay animation duo “Wallace and Gromit” take the decision to go to the moon to stack up their empty plate of cheddar cheese (http://vimeo.com/38091345). Looks like you taped the Zeitgeist with this one, congratulations, love to read your adventures, v


    1. Thanks for sharing the link. I did some research and found that Wallace and Gromit (as well as myself) are slicing into a folkloric motif that goes back as far as the 13th century. This cheesy moon connection is ancient. Thanks for inspiring me to learn a little more.


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