Winter Solstice 2020

The dark time of year. 
Odd things are black with frost
but, below bare trees, 
the earth is sapping green. 

Weeds spring in autumn here 
when rain comes to seared ground. 

With water as fresh as life 
I take vitamin D and watch 
the light change on this 
cloud-spangled shortest day.

Perhaps I’ll never again desire summer
when the hot winds swirl our fear with
tinder leaves, when plants bake brittle
and feed fires with tempers unheard of. 

It’s hard to celebrate all of that 
but give me your fruit pudding 
and your evergreen hope 
and I’ll deck them out 
with paper stars.


(I sat down to write a hopeful poem. Sorry about that.)

4 thoughts on “Winter Solstice 2020

  1. It LOOKS hopeful. Because it looks sad, not hopeless. Mourning, not melancholia.
    And because of that, it implies its opposite.
    This is the second stanza from the Tao Te Ching. I love it and think of it a lot:

    All the world knows beauty
    but if that becomes beautiful
    this becomes ugly
    all the world knows good
    but if that becomes good
    this becomes bad
    have and have not create each other
    hard and easy produce each other
    long and short shape each other
    high and low complete each other
    note and noise accompany each other
    first and last follow each other
    sages therefore perform effortless deeds
    and teach wordless lessons
    they don’t look after all the things that arise
    or depend on them as they develop
    or claim them when they reach perfection
    and because they don’t claim them
    they are never without them

    Lao Tzu, 2nd stanza, Taoteching

    1. Thank you Marc. Yes. Mourning season.
      I love Lao Tzu on dichotomy. The guardians of Eden, according to Joseph Campbell, represent dichotomy. And yes, I think a lot about it. Perhaps one day it will form a poem.

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