winter solstice

this morning
the moon sets
in a song wing sky
and the world turns
towards the light.

there is a body count
in this poem,
between the lines,
between the writing
and the reading of this poem
people have died,
as a third wave rises tsunami
and we track its progress
continent to continent
until it crashes our shores,
until tuesday
smashes records
for new infections
in a 24 hour period

a pause for breath,
line end
or comma,
might be the last
for another

by friday his grandfather
her mother
their son

after a stanza we wait
to see what still stands
in a world that
and falls apart.

on tuesday before solstice we got the call,
home approval from the spca,
so we could bring the scrap cat home
from the shelter – and of course
we did and would,
knowing she had shown up for months in dream
before we met her in real, even knew her name
and the way she would curl up in my lap cross legged and purr.
her lantern eyes shining bright against the black of her fur
she stepped forward from shadow
and so it was and so it is.

but it is hard to be joyful
when her quiet turned to illness
and the little bone body
tented skin – backward and forward
from shelter to vet and home again
and weakening.
waking again and again in the night
to see if the little body still breathed,
syringing water by the ml
watching to see if she kept the food down.

and all the while hope danced shadow veiled
while the big being dream cat
wrestled the frailing kitten scrap
knowing the line
between the living and dead
is smudged solstice thin
by the the turning of the year.

sunday before solstice
she walked her bone feet
to the bowl and ate unassisted,
drank water as cats do.
midwinter monday she lived.

now as i write morning cold
she sits on my shoulder
watches ink become word.

it is hard to be solemn
carrying our lanterns
up the moon bright road mid winter
bare arms to the soft evening air
barefeet to the leaf crunch
gravel earth underfoot
after bergwinds had us feign summer for two days
and the fast approaching full moon
had us crazy belly laughing
and silly singing under the watching sky
while the wind stole and stole our flame

and it is hard not be solemn
singing those winter songs since the fires came
singing rise up o flame with half our breath
the other half held in prayer that the flames
do not rise up on the bergwind
that blows hot across the desert
to cool its feet in the ocean
billowing mist along the beach
while the forests swelter and crisp.

at the top of the hill we pause
and as the silence yawns
in the road on the hill
and our lanterns burn bright
with the light that we are –
we turn and turn again
turn back to face this past
that has marched us
to an uncertain future.
turn to face the future
on the edge of our imaginings
turn to the road
as it curves out of sight
turn to the sky and the moon
and the gods who still
wait with baited breath
for us to remember
that there is nowhere else but here
and this song has been singing
us from long before this eternity,
back down the hill
we sprawl on the lawn summer style
lanterns flickering
there is no untouchable
on this holiest of nights –
we bray a terrible bohemian rhapsody to the stars
listen to frogs
feel the cool of earth seep to our skin
remember what it is to be holy.

from this time thread
and lean into forever

for Brendan at earthweal’s weekly challenge: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAMTIME


17 thoughts on “winter solstice

  1. There’s a brawl between unmerciful history — and the bad future it portends — and the mysteries of solstice, timeless, starry — between unseasonably warm weather and pandemic spike and “this song (which) has been singing / us long before this eternity.” (Beautiful) It is a darkness/light balance poised so specifically and agonizingly in a kitten saved from doom hovering in illness at the same jumping off point. Steep the cost but precious the relief in pulling through, as we feel with the kitten become a partner in next meditations. (We rescued a kitten from a shelter who almost died of some kind of virus as soon as we got him home.) Thanks so for bringing the dark solstice home here and stay safe. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bottom of the world, bottom of the light and then up, the kitten, and the wind. A mountain lion was sighted in the neighborhood yesterday; i hope people leave her be, the magic of wild encroached upon by our bipedal voraciousness. And yet, as with all turns, perhaps something unnoticed and vital waits around the bend. One can hope.


      1. Perhaps it’s mean, but we hope she takes some of the feral cats that wreak havoc with the local songbirds


      2. Yeah. It is a tricky one – the predator prey dance. Of course when feral cats embed themselves in an ecosystem rebalancing can be brutal. We have to keep our house cats in at night because of the caracal(and sometimes leopard or honey badger) that roam the night.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Some studies indicate feral and domesticated cats take more than a billion with a B birds each year and that’s just in the US. Embed, indeed.


  3. I love that “song wing sky”. And “sometimes after a stanza we wait to see what still stands
    in a world that falls and falls apart.” That is exactly how it feels. The world is falling apart. We pen our poems. Another disaster hits the news………I held my breath for the little scrap cat. Thank heaven she lives! And purrs. I love “and this song has been singing us from long before this eternity,”. This is my favourite of your poems, Lindi. Really really beautiful, and full of……everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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