Poetry for Moon in Scorpio ~ Night of the Scorpion by Nissim Ezekial

I came across this poem while surfing the web and thought it would make a nice read to share with you for Moon in Scorpio. You’ll find so much symbolism of the sign Scorpio in the poem. It was written by Nissim Ezekial, a Jewish Indian poet born in Mumbai on December 14, 1924, time unknown. He was a Sagittarian, with Pluto and Moon in Cancer. This poem clearly symbolizes the Pluto/Moon placement. Click on the chart to get a larger view.

Night of the Scorpion

by Nissim Ezekial

I remember the night my mother
was stung by a scorpion. Ten hours
of steady rain had driven him
to crawl beneath a sack of rice.
Parting with his poison – flash
of diabolic tail in the dark room –
he risked the rain again.
The peasants came like swarms of flies
and buzzed the name of God a hundred times
to paralyse the Evil One.
With candles and with lanterns
throwing giant scorpion shadows
on the mud-baked walls
they searched for him: he was not found.
They clicked their tongues.
With every movement that the scorpion made
his poison moved in Mother’s blood, they said.
May he sit still, they said
May the sins of your previous birth
be burned away tonight, they said.
May your suffering decrease
the misfortunes of your next birth, they said.
May the sum of all evil
balanced in this unreal world
against the sum of good
become diminished by your pain.

"Night of the Scorpion" by Kristina Chambers, painting based on poem

May the poison purify your flesh
of desire, and your spirit of ambition,
they said, and they sat around
on the floor with my mother in the centre,
the peace of understanding on each face.
More candles, more lanterns, more neighbours,
more insects, and the endless rain.
My mother twisted through and through,
groaning on a mat.
My father, sceptic, rationalist,
trying every curse and blessing,
powder, mixture, herb and hybrid.
He even poured a little paraffin
upon the bitten toe and put a match to it.
I watched the flame feeding on my mother.

I watched the holy man perform his rites
to tame the poison with an incantation.
After twenty hours it lost its sting.

My mother only said
Thank God the scorpion picked on me
And spared my children.

If you’d like to hear some music for Scorpio, there are several videos on this blog. Johnny Cash, the Man is Black, is featured, as well as a fantastic and super sexy song, Temptation, by Bing Crosby. Yep, Bing. Who’d a thunk it? The videos are at the bottom of the posts.

2 thoughts on “Poetry for Moon in Scorpio ~ Night of the Scorpion by Nissim Ezekial

  1. I had this in school. In more than one grade, I think. He wrote some humorous poems, too: a paradoy of Indian-English. He was pretty cool.

    1. He seems pretty cool, Neeti. After I came across the poem, I did some research on him. He was a very interesting man, wonderful poet. This poem was just perfect for the day.


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