Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice: 2010

Night People Rejoice: this is your time!
Day People Rejoice: your time is coming, beginning tomorrow!

This is the shortest day of the year, or from a different perspective, it will be tonight, the longest night of the year. It is also the first day of winter, or so say the powers-that-be, at least for this part of the planet. Other parts, other powers-that-be, other rulings.

Buddha on the hill . . .
From your holy nose indeed
Hangs an icicle
-- Issa --
From The Little Treasury of Haiku
Nobody has ever accused Issa of being overly reverent.

Going snow-viewing
One by one the walkers vanish . . .
Whitely falling veils
-- Katsuri --
From LTH

Snow in the Suburbs

Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute;
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again,
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.

A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,
And overturns him,
And near inurns him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.

The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.
-- Thomas Hardy --

Wind and Window Flower

Lovers, forget your love,
And list to the love of these,
She a window flower,
And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil
Was melted down at noon,
And the caged yellow bird
Hung over her in tune,

He marked her through the pane,
He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by
To come again at dark.

He was a winter wind,
Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
And little of love could know.

But he sighed upon the sill,
He gave the sash a shake,
As witness all within
Who lay that night awake.

Perchance he half prevailed
To win her for the flight
From the firelit looking-glass
And warm stove-window light.

But the flower leaned aside
And thought of naught to say
And morning found the breeze
A hundred miles away.
-- Robert Frost --

No. 1316

Winter is good -- his Hoar Delights
Italic flavor yield --
To Intellects inebriate
With Summer, or the World --

Generic as a Quarry
And hearty -- as a Rose --
Invited with Asperity
But welcome when he goes.
-- Emily Dickinson --
from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
edited by Thomas H. Johnson

In the wintry moon
Gales raging down the river
Hone the rock-edges
-- Chora --
From LTH

My very bone-ends
Made contact with the icy quilts
Of deep December
-- Buson --
From LTH

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