Solstice

We decline down the stairs
amid icy stares underground
stay warm huddled with others.

We refuse the cold’s summit
but around noon note a bit of
the bump and we stand still.

We see ourselves as heavenly
in the arc of the sun and crouch
of a close moon and our bodies

rotate out of hibernal touch
not to create a paradox
but the point is opposite

apogee if that makes you feel
any warmer the closer you get
the freeze-dry blue eyes.

Back in August when we slept
in the basement to keep cool
you worried about spiders.

All fragments yet perfectly
balanced along hot and cold
lines our lukewarm garbage

sustains us through this
our winter solstice
when even time stops.

Solstice

The soul rises from the south
searching for the sea
falls into the ice
burning, too late to turn

back, the days stay
long, the soul no
more may sleep
in its own heat

and stands still
at this very moment
9:14 am
on a Tuesday overcast

morning, the soul
invisible behind
its clouds
this year

the soul loiters
in no hurry
hesitates
hot and heavy

as if it just
ran a marathon
or swam in a surf session
there on the beach

under a prismatic
eye-catching umbrella
people from miles around
gather in its shade.

Winter Solstice Walk

Cold. Wet and damp. Dark. Slippery walk in Mt Tabor Park, where the trees appear ready for the winter solstice.


The reservoirs, built with new Portland Cement techniques in the early 1900’s, until recently, held the city’s drinking water. A new, enormous underground tank was built and the reservoirs disconnected. What to do with them now has occupied the community and city planners for the last few years. I’m in favor of building a wave pool, though there’s been no discussion of that idea I’m aware of.


The Oregon Myrtle and Washington Hawthorne are lovely in winter. In California, the myrtle is know as California Bay Laurel. The leaf is like a bay leaf in shape, color, and texture.


A slow walk focusing on the big and small. To the east, Mt Hood dominates the view. Throughout the park, the popcorn bush is popping its white kernels.


Someone built a labyrinth of branches in the grassy opening to the west-side creek valley. Portlanders love to sit out. In the yard at the west-side entrance to the park, two colorful chairs sit empty.


Dictatorial Decree

Already the sun slipsSun,
filches off
at a sneaking speed.

The despot rising
declares a natural
state of emergency.

The pompous papa
prays on the instant
for a sum of leniency.

Alas, mere poet, see?
The sun protracts
your high-pitched misery.

Tonight a summer
full moon calls
a ball of lunacy.

The sun dictates the noon,
casts down dress codes
on the darling horology.

The moon denudes the day.
The night goes without
a blanket of authority.

Solstice Sestina: Whiteout on the Whiteboard in Winter

Whiteout on the Whiteboard in Winter

The shadowless man in the center of winter
drew nine snowmen leaving no shadow
on the boardroom wall size whiteboard
and sketched one goal as cold as snow
nine snowmen into one who would wander.
The snowmen started to wonder

who in the whiteboard world would wonder
such opportunity in win win winter.
The shadowless man began to wander
here on the whiteboard without shadow
as quiet as a field of snow
empty save the snowmen on the whiteboard.

Whiteout conditions on the whiteboard
showed a winterland of snowy wonder
how in the wonderland of snow
in a whirling passage of winter
with zero shadow
one will wield wander.

The shadowless man wandered
solo across the clear whiteboard
concealing all shadow
not even a digress to address the wonder
soulful worship of winter
leaving no metric in the snow.

Around and around in the field of snow
the shadowless man wandered
silent on the stage of winter
in a whiteout on a whiteboard
with no edges no wonder
across the field fell no shadow.

Lost with no mere mirror shadow
the shadowless man fell in the snow
wandering he fell wondering
why worry about wandering
in fields of whiteboards
in the silence of winter

no shadow with which to wander
in the snow of the whiteboard
wondering where the nine 8’s went in winter.