Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Solstice 2020: The Space Between


Happy Solstice, one and all. 


The longest night is upon us. 

There have been several snowfalls this year in Santa Fe. The last time the snow fell (four days ago), I was able to spend some time watching the flakes fall through a nearby streetlight.



It's always mesmerizing: 

And I discovered worlds in the spaces between the falling flakes - fell into memories of other snows, found interesting visions of alternate lives...


Here's this year's Winter Solstice Poem.

It's a work in progress. 


Winter Solstice: The Space Between

1. Snow in the Streetlight


Crystals fall through

orange light. They speak


as they fall: This is how

travelers pass between

worlds…this is how time

collapses into itself…

this is how the world is

made and remade…I rise

to meet the falling…this

is how old and new

revolve around empty



2. Nebraskan Plains

Snow-dust drifts

across falling snow.

Cold in the car, cold

for a thousand miles,


no light beyond the red


A face in the rearview

mirror: my future self,

writing this now, calm

witness to my terror,

excitement, my confused


3. Nederland, Colorado


Christmas lights reflected in

porch ice. A few flakes spin

out of a clear twilight sky,

circle the first stars. Where did

they come from? A grey cat

approaches, prancing, goofy,

trying to walk on snow without

touching it, my future self,

writing this now, performing

an awkward dance, embodying

the pattern of hide-and-seek

flakes – something from nothing.

4. Crossing the Frozen Raccoon River

I tracked deer prints

through deep snow, to

the river’s edge, looked

across and thought what

the hell. Nothing to lose?

On the other side, a crow

clutched a bare cottonwood

branch, my future self,

writing this now, eyes on

me as I stepped onto the

ice, and followed the deer

into another world.

5. Hitchhiking: Indiana/Illinois Border

Kicked off a ramp on Route 80,

I found a phone booth to hide

from the falling snow. Snow

caked the glass. I was closed in,

entombed, everything inside and

out, a deep blue. My hands shook,

sifting through change. I called

home. Wrong number. The voice


that answered, my future self,

writing this now, offered a distant

memory of loneliness to replace

the loneliness itself.


6. Livorno, Italy

Snow falls into the sea,

floats toward the dunes.

I open my mouth, catch

flakes on my tongue.

Further down the beach,

a lone figure with a thread-

bare coat, his back to the sea,

watches; my future self,

writing this now, guardian

and trickster, making sure

I stay long enough to let

the beauty break me.

 7. Snow in the Streetlight

Inside the space between

falling crystals I fall asleep

in a pile of warm bodies,

listen to the soft, humid sighs

of other hares; I nestle against

a brother crow, black feathers

sharp, cold, comforting; I

become a lynx, at the still edge

of a snowfall, snow-clouds

broken apart, a few stars in

the open space, waiting for

movement in the dark.


The Ghosts of Winter Solstice Poems Past 

2011: Solstice (& 3 poems by Erling Friis-Baastad, John Haines & Basho)

2014: December (1 Poem)

2015: Saturnalia, Solstice, Christmas (& 3 Poems)

2016: Midway Through Life's Journey: Winter Solstice 2016

2017: Winter Solstice 2017: The Under Realm

2018: Hope, Courage, Mercy

2019: Winter Solstice: Labyrinths