This week’s selection of poems celebrates the upcoming winter solstice—the light and dark, the before and after, the seasons of our lives.

Losing Light

when I was a child

I never noticed

October ceilings

sliding down to

black December nights

but now

I feel the sunsets of fall

crushing the daylight

down to the floor

thin oily light

oozing under the door

I long for the moment

when the ceiling starts to rise

sucking daylight

into the room

the full blown

Spring flown


till it pours out

the windows of summer


 Jesse’s Solstice



my grandson yells

a new name

his name for me

this from the young one

the newest

the 18-month grandson

wordless last solstice

has burst forth since



word  – light

– truck

– mommy

Like the new sun

pushing aside

short gray days

one at a time

he adds new words

his own words





the world around him

in his own terms



here comes the






Seasons of Light

skinny spring sun

eases green from the ground

sucking deep-down juice

from the root of things

pulling and rounding

into pregnant June sunsets

till gravity wins

and earth drains the color

out of the sky

from petals

from stems

reducing us all

to quivering pale stalks

rattling through long winter nights


Endless Deep 

Albatross lock

ten-foot wings

into cliff jumper


to swoop and soar

bank and glide

on ocean wave updrafts


and around the globe

for years without time

till a pulsing need

draws them to land

to the spot they were bred

to breed in turn



to hover the endless deep


like us


The following is a timeless analogy from  Venerable Bede a 7th Century Monk

The present life, O king, seems to me, in comparison with that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter amid your officers and ministers, with a good fire in the midst whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door and immediately out another, whilst he is within is safe from the wintry storm but after a short space of fair weather he immediately vanishes out of your sight into the dark winter from which he has emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space but of what went before or what is to follow we are ignorant.



3 thoughts on “Solstice 2018

  1. Nice poems, Joe. Glad to read them. I’ll look at your early pieces sometime. I was busy with the Prop 2 campaign. Now I’m busy reconnecting with normal life.
    Bob Weir


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