Winter solstice


Today the sun was a moon, hazed by clouds into a full round I stared directly at as I drove into town.

The night in the day and the day ending at the sharp line of the night and the night lasting a day. Or so it seems.

Here we are at the crease of the year. As if in an origami fold, deep inside something that will become a delicate crane. In a valley where the only way out is up. In a well of dark with a lid of light.

Perversely, my favorite day of the year.

The only way forward is into the light, and I’ll greedily gather the coming seconds and minutes of daylight to stuff into my pockets.

I remember days and nights I never wanted to end, they were so filled with joy.

I remember days and nights I never wanted to end, they were so filled with sadness.

I remember nights that I wanted to drag over me like a thick, wool blanket.

I remember nights when I was a dark stair-sitting child, listening to the sparkling grownups a floor below, silently cloaked and wondering at the light they made.

I remember full moons that made the snowy field a morning.

I remember the faces of people I love with such detail, they are illuminated, even when they are long in the dark.

I forget all the things I forget. Voices. Teases. Misunderstandings. A last laugh, when laughing was still possible.

It’s a blessing to forget.

It’s a blessing to sit in this deep, long, dark night and know that everything behind is lit with love, everything ahead is lit with love, and everything I need is right here, right now, in the dark with me.


Summer solstice


Summer morning, hot by nine.
Filling the water bucket
and the water hisses and flashes from the hose’s nozzle
like jagged, spiky rays from a sparkler,
then fizzles against the dark bucket’s black bottom,
boils awhile
settles into a steady simmer
before it abruptly
goes still
when the nozzle sinks below the surface.

The goats watch from the shaded side of the barn.


Some other summer morning
the girl, at four,
is told to nap until her pool is filled
–but not told how long that might take.

Outside the bedroom window,
her father puts the hose to the blue, plastic pool,
decorated with turtles and smiling seahorses.
The stream of water
beats harshly against the brittle plastic,
like tiny drumming fingers
then tempers to a steady thrum
before going silent.

All is still, but shimmering.
The light is July quiet.
Nearby, car wheels crunch on someone’s driveway.
A dragonfly buzzes past the window.
Somewhere in the house, there’s the muffled thump
of a cat’s paws touching down after a leap.

There is no napping.
Only waiting for the sound of full.


All the while
the pool
the bucket
the girl
the morning

are silently filling
until they are nearly brimming.

Fiat Lux

The sun stood still.
And then he swayed back to us, if only slightly.
Tomorrow he’ll linger longer.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Contrast from grey

Where yesterday was ice

This time of year, we make our own light to stave in the hull of darkness.

Inside snowflake


We celebrate every holiday, light everything on fire, cook with oil.

Third night

Heat and light

The other night, I accidentally lit the lamb chops on fire. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Our bedroom is unheated. We have four layers of blankets on the bed. But the windows in that room face due east, and every extra drop of sunlight lands on me first.