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Winter Solstice by Jody Aliesan
Grief Sweat (Broken Moon Press, 1990)
Thinking only makes the heart sore. – I Ching
when you startle awake in the dark morning
heart pounding breathing fast
sitting bolt upright staring into
dark whirlpool black hole
feeling its suction
get out of bed
knock at the door of your nearest friend
ask to lie down beside ask to be held
listen while whispered words
turn the hole into deep night sky
stars close together
winter moon rising over white fields
nearby a wren rustling dry leaves
distant owl echoing
two people walking up the road laughing
let your soul laugh
let your heart sigh out
that long held breath so hollow in your stomach
so swollen in your throat
already light is returning pairs of wings
lift softly off your eyelids one by one
each feathered edge clearer between you
and the pearl veil of day
you have nothing to do but live
“Announced by all the trumpets of the sky….
arrives the snow….”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
|Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).
An American Anthology, 1787–1900
|By Ralph Waldo Emerson|
From the Lunch Poems series of U.C. Berkeley:
Today is the birthday of Emily Dickinson, December 10, 1830
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
She is the smoke that curls upward
from an all-night fire that will die in the daylight.
The evanescing mist rising from a river.
A winter tree whose black shadow creeps,
long like fingers, over the deep crusted snow.
She is wispy cirrus clouds that appear,
then disappear. The longed for rains
over the Serengeti. She is full of grace –
the blur of a deer as she escapes the hunter.
She is born of silence on the wings of an owl.
She is ephemeral – like the brief bloom
of a desert flower. She causes the sunflower
to bow before the sun; the vine to spiral.
She is a pebble tossed into a great lake ) ) ) )
where ripples ) ) ) ) ) form ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
then ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) radiate ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) far
beyond ) ) ) ) the shore ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )