Happy winter solstice! It’s a gray day in Michigan, which seems fitting for the shortest day of the year. The smattering of snow we had earlier this week is mostly gone. But even though today is the solstice, sunset has been getting later for the past couple of weeks. Starting tomorrow the day length will grow longer, but the date of the latest sunrise where I live is not until January 5. I’m happier to have the light increase sooner at the end of the day!
A recent bright spot for me was receiving Marcie Flinchum Atkins‘ present for the Holiday Poem Swap. Lucky me, Marcie gifted me a calendar with her haiku and photos, so I get to enjoy 12 poems instead of one! Here’s one of my favorite photos and haikus from her beautiful calendar (the image of the old year lifting is so perfect for the month of December.)
I have been enjoying the ring-billed gulls that huddle on our lake when the ice starts to form. They are magnificent in the early morning sun, especially as they rise as one and swirl over the ice. But today the gulls were muted, and I tried to write a haiku for them inspired by Marcie’s mist.
settle on winter wings
of quiet gulls
Marcie’s words also inspired the poem that I sent to her for the gift exchange. I asked the spousal unit to xerox the pages of Marcie’s book, WAIT, REST, PAUSE (shh…who knows what copyright laws I broke. Well, the spousal unit broke at my request.) I cut and shuffled her words to find a poem. Not exactly a found poem with all my mixing and splicing–it probably should be called a ransom-note poem. It was a fun challenge to find a poem in such a tightly-written book! And if you want to admire someone’s word choice, I recommend splicing and dicing. Here’s the poem I sent:
Chanukah has come and gone. It is not a major holiday on the Jewish calendar, but it felt important to celebrate publicly this year. We lit candles over zoom with our kids for two nights, and went to our temple’s Shabbat/Chanukah celebration that included a latke competition (the winning latkes were made of beets and had a chevre/chive topping–wow! Delicious.) I also decided to revise an old Chanukah poem and sent it to The Dirigible Balloon for their winter/holiday collection. You can read it here.
Wishing you warm holidays and a light-filled new year! Be sure to visit Jone to find all this week’s Poetry Friday posts.