Posts tagged ‘winter solstice’

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Winter Solstice by Hilda Auerbach Morley

A cold night crosses
our path
The world appears
very large, very
round now       extending
far as the moon does
It is from
the moon this cold travels
It is
the light of the moon that causes
this night reflecting distance in its own
light so coldly
(from one side of
the earth to the other)
It is the length of this coldness
It is the long distance
between two points which are
not in a line        now
not a
straightness       (however
straight) but a curve only,
silver that is a rock reflecting
not metal
but a rock accepting
(a scream in silence
where between the two
points what touches
is a curve around the world
(the dance unmoving).

New York, 1969


Date: 1969

By: Hilda Auerbach Morley (1916-1998)

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Winter Solstice by Alan Alexander

These nights are cold and still
And something in me awakes
Listening like an animal,

Waiting for those times to come
Which belong to the blowdown of rain
And the hard, pure heart of wind

When the two trees in the garden
Fill out and the cats scamper
For shelter and I go crazy

With meaning, opening the door
To the neurotic girl who
Was so difficult to handle,

Who shakes her coat and tells me
Not to worry, she won’t be long
Gathering her few odd things together

And stilts about from room to room,
Leaving a scent of broken things
Helplessly on the air,

While the two trees in the garden fill again
And the house is buffeted with returning rain.

From: Alexander, Alan, “Winter Solstice” in Westerly, No. 2, June 1973, p. 35.

Date: 1973

By: Alan Alexander (1973- )

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Winter Solstice by Gary Young

Birds travel toward the horizon
at a distance which makes them
indistinguishable. We only know
that they seem to be leaving the earth.
The glassy bulbs of the Iris have worked their way
to the surface of the damp soil,
and the roots of the pine tree
rest on the ground like arthritic knuckles,
clumsey, useless, having given up
on everything, even themselves.
I watch the rain fall after a year of drought,
and it settles into the runoff. My yard
is a delta of tiny rivers, and the spirit,
which must be like water, flows quietly away.

From: Young, Gary, “Winter Solstice” in Poetry, December 1977, p. 144. (

Date: 1977

By: Gary Young (1951- )

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Winter Solstice by Alison Clark

Look at Anna under the vine—
standing with her arm out, in hope
if she keeps Perfectly Still
(so still she doesn’t seem like Anna)
a robin or blue wren will perch.

Day, wintry-clear, is
poised between frost and sun—
equal forces: which will win?

Yellow greens and grey greens stir
as wind passes through the clearing;
birds counterpoint the waves’ continuo;
the yellow robin in a patch of sun is seen
by us as if we were not there, perfectly still.


Date: 1987

By: Alison Clark (1945- )

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Winter Solstice by Janlori Goldman

for Jean Valentine

O odd light
bring me the old season
that winter familiar
a slow sheathing of moon in shadow
as if sky were a gill
through which all things
flow in                 filter out
bring me a home with no right angles
a space of curling in
not too bright or sharp
and bring me the time before that
with the garden dark with broken-down
coffee grounds                 rows of flowering mustard greens
the smell of ripped roots fresh
from the pull
and then before that
to my round house a friend will come
or maybe the friend’s mother
I’ll say stay for dinner
she’ll say let me sew that button.


Date: 2012

By: Janlori Goldman (19??- )

Monday, 20 June 2016

Winter Solstice by William Watt

Due north, its measured round complete,
Earth cleaves its seasons’ wax and wane,
as suppliant, the year-end’s draff,
dead leaves bend to the absent sun.
The path of night leads back to birth:
the star repeats its parallax.
Under wide orbits cleanly graphed
the frost-clenched fields ingerminate.

Thule is dayless, and the plow must shun
the dour crust, the arthritic roots which run
twisting through shallow graves. On the longest night
the restless spheres, Earth-centred, encased the rite:
Cut! Shear the mistletoe from its wintered tree,
unman the old year, set the new year free;
the gnomon’s shadow, turning, liberates
the soil we quicken.—The woods grow light.

Now in annual fealty the sun at rising
faces the Statues-of-the-Plain, whose stone
renews the celestial power to invoke
the flooding Nile. As the East rose-window
takes, all year, the day’s first-offered light
to tinge the cross. An old man spells
the god’s return, sullen and stiff, to his farm:
from the dark kingdom to the mourning bitch.

And wasn’t the King of Rome baptized with light?
Baptized with light, though the Earth’s condemned
to sweep its constant sector around the sun:
when the mirrored pattern that once ratified
his sovereignty, had passed?

Solstice: a lynx,
having found means to smash his accustomed cage,

—freed of his chains, but not of their weight—
quivers in the chill hours until dawn.


Date: 1962

By: William Watt (1913-1996)

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Winter Solstice by Karen Knight

The annual Antarctic depression
wrapped in a thick gauze of cloud
rides pillion with the Bridgewater Jerry

across the Derwent River
over the tops of hills
round as a nudist colony

like a fog snake
it sheds its skin
trails a giant smudge through the city

The homeless stand between
freeze and thaw.
They are frost shadows

holding the ice
long after their sorrows
have melted around them.


Date: 2007

By: Karen Knight (1950- )