Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Poem



At any time of the year
you measure the dimensions of the sky
one constellation at a time
give it perspective in terms
that you can understand

but at this darkest point
the nadir of the calendar
stars become much more
than pinpoints on a chart
sometimes it's all you have to steer by
and you begin to weary of the darkness
there is so much of it

Having lost the light
you announce yourself with candles
in every window
drape strings of icicles
from eave to eave
calling softly into the winter sky
over here over here


  1. I like when a poem or a piece of art or a song or a book or a movie conjures another piece of art. Your poem here strongly conjures Stanley Kunitz's heart-ache of a poem about his father, that one about Halley's comet. Do you know it? About how, as a little boy, he climbs up on the roof waiting for his dead father? Here are the last lines from that poem. The image of these line were instantly conjured in my head by the last lines of your very good poem:

    Look for me, Father, on the roof
    of the red brick building
    at the foot of Green Street --
    that's where we live, you know, on the top floor.
    I'm the boy in the white flannel gown
    sprawled on this coarse gravel bed
    searching the starry sky,
    waiting for the world to end.

    Glad I came here tonight. Thanks for saying what you said under my poem. And thanks for leading me to your poem. I feel like I can go to bed now at peace with the world.

  2. ive never read much of Stanley Kunitz's work, but I see what you mean,and it is a heart-ache, isnt it.

    Your connecting my poem to his poem only shows even more just how connected we all are, as writers and thinkers. The solstices intrigue me for some reason, far more than the artificial holidays we wrap around them.

    Did you know that this was the shortest day (by a minute or so), in 1000 years? And at the same time the lunar eclipse later on will be the first one in 300 years to fall on a solstice. Now that's magic. *g*

    Im glad you came, too. Rest well.

  3. I consciously decided not to write a solstice poem this year. All I did was not write it; spent, instead, several round trips to work, market, etc., composing it.

  4. well, to be honest, this is from the archives, since I am writing little if at all just now, and the solstice seems like such a cool thing, it was a shame to let it slide by uncommented upon.
    I commend your self control. And your ability to compose-as-you-go. If I tried that I'd have a lot of soup and bread but only hash for poetry at the end. Memory, you know. =)