Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Readings & Writings: Seasonal Verse

Here is a short, appropriately seasonal, poem by Linda Gregg, from her collection Chosen by the Lion:

Winter Love

I would like to decorate this silence,
but my house grows only cleaner
and more plain. The glass chimes I hung
over the register ring a little
when the heat goes on.
I waited too long to drink my tea.
It was not hot. It was only warm.


Linda Gregg, a new discovery for me—via Czeslaw Milosz’s wonderful anthology A Book of Luminous Things—is a fine poet, imo. Her poems tend to work at uncovering the essential connections between the spiritual and the material, as revealed by everyday acts and things. Thus, her themes touch on the eternal universal.

Here also is a seasonal poem of mine. I have posted it before, somewhere. But this being its month, I post it again:

Ancestral January

blue cold
xxxxxcold white
xxxxxxxxxxfull moon
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxfalse light

stark, hibernal oaks
which scream at the wind
with the rage of old Lear
that all nature has sinned

cold witch in her hut
which white magic can’t warm
nor the storm’s force be tamed
by the pentagram’s form

clouds freeze to the mountain
which north winds strain to stir
frozen spikes of swift crystal
tear the forest’s stiff fur

starved wolf
xxxxxwhite hare
xxxxxxxxxxred snow
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxiron air

icy blade of the lake
bleeds the stone of the shore
fetch rags, my love, quickly
to chink fast the door

what footprints are these
what Eskimo this
who trudges toward spring
with purpling lips

woman, play on your harp
thaw the flames with your song
we’ll wrap us in skins
and drink mead until dawn


Stay warm, my friends, if you can’t make it hot.