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Monthly Archives: January 2019

January 74th

 

I heard someone say the other day that it felt like January 74th.  I find January and February in Maine to be trying.  I don’t ski, my cold tolerance is definitely decreasing with age, and it makes me cross to wobble around on icy surfaces.  In that rather crabby vein, I offer a sour, wonderful poem by Amy Gerstler (copyright by the poet, of course).

 

A Severe Lack of Holiday Spirit

 

I dread the icy white concussion

of winter.  Each snowfall demands

panic, like a kidnapper’s hand

clapped over my chapped mouth.

Ice forms everywhere, a plague

of glass.  Christmas ornaments’

sickly tinkle makes my molars ache.

One pities the anemic sun

come January.  Trees go skeletal.

Children born in the chilly months

are apt to stammer.  People hit

the sauce in a big way all winter.

Amidst blizzards they wrestle

unsuccessfully with the dark comedy

of their lives, laughter trapped

in their frigid gizzards.  Meanwhile,

the mercury just plummets,

like a migrating duck blasted

out of the sky by some hunter

in a cap with fur earflaps.trees in snow apple

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A new year

 

Painting by Rockwell Kent.

Here is a poem by Elder James Olson (American, 1909-1992).

 

December 1948

Pavane for the New Year

 

Soul, plucking the many strings

Of my limbs like puppet’s, make them dance,

Dance, dance, in somber joy,

That after all the sullen play

The old world falls, the new world forms.

 

A thought like music takes us now,

So like, that every soul must move,

Move in a most stately measure,

And souls and bodies tread in time

Till all the trembling towers fall down.

 

And now the stones arise again

Till all the world is built anew

And now in one accord like rhyme,

And we who wound the midnight clock

Hear the clock of morning chime.

Rockwell Kent snow ocean