Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Poetry Wednesday: Bleak Midwinters

I confess--my day is getting out ahead of me.  I have grading for my online classes to do, my Reading Pal to see, and a late afternoon meeting that I'm dreading.

So, I'll do what I normally do when I'm short of time.  I'll post something that's already written.  I went back through my poetry files to see if I could find a holiday themed poem that I haven't already used--and I did.

One of the delights of keeping such extensive files and keeping a blog is that I occasionally find things I've forgotten ever writing.  This poem is one of those things.

I remember the images that inspired it--years ago.  I remember taking a road trip and seeing the toys alongside the Interstate.  And I really did see shoes in such an arrangement--or maybe it was a piece of installation art that I didn't recognize as such.  Those of you from religious traditions that delve deep into the prophets this time of year might recognize the reference to John the Baptist and his taste for honey, and you may or may not remember Advent as a time when angels visit.

This poem has never been published until today--enjoy!

In the Bleak Midwinter

In another climate in a different age,
these clouds would portend snow.
Instead it’s a strange winter thunderstorm
that swoops from the south
to pelt the land with weather
more suitable for spring.

Two trucks collide to litter
the side streets with stuffed
toys. Someone arranges child-sized
shoes in pairs, ghost feet
heading off into the wilderness
in search of honey.

The nation debates the proper way to offer
seasonal greetings (“Happy holidays”
or “Merry Christmas”?), while most city dwellers
have given up all pretense
of December cheer, and cannot even muster
the everyday civility of social niceties.

The angels sing their news of good tidings
of great joy, but we cannot hear
them. We’ve forgotten to look up.
We’ve blanketed the sky with emissions,
and we can’t see the stars,
much less the rarer sight
of celestial beings who call us blessed.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Oh, those images in the second stanza resonate with me in many ways--recent tornado down the road, recent weather-related pile up on the highway, etc. Thanks for your poem, and you also got that song playing in my head.