A Poem for Winter Solstice


We lost the tungsten stream

      through fracturing birch limbs

as we scouted  

                   by road. And

         (now is the time and place to admit it)

we were wrong. Wrong

in the way a cat miscounts

            or a fish is fooled

                 by glint.      We were wrong to think

we understood the rivulet

        into which we set our little craft or to think

 we understood the obsession of these waters

                     to flow from peak to sea

quickly.       Wrong

to not see                      the clinched fist

       of its first punch        our chests flung bare

before ore so frothy we couldn't stop

           to ask how we’d landed here or how

we’d missed this rocky mêlée.

                           On my knees clutching

the bow-sides I screamed hard left

right straight ahead left left until . . .

                   we settled

into a pool      quiet

     in the way a crocus stares down snow

or in the way a day opens up

               to hold                the winter sun

a few more arcs or in the way

                        we come to understand the power

of a possibility

       we had never considered.

First published in Hobble Creek Review.

© 2012 Grace Curtis

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13 Responses to A Poem for Winter Solstice

  1. Laurel says:

    This is lovely, Grace 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shelby James says:

    Well done, Grace. A poem very rich with imagery and symbolism.

  3. Lovely. Nice to see it here and to see it there, at Hobble Creek!

    • Grace Curtis says:

      Thank you, Kathleen. Isn’t that strange. When I first wrote this, it was lined. I began to see it as a narrative and tried it as a prose poem. Going back to it most recently, it didn’t feel right so I went back to the drawing board on it. The more I worked, the sparser it became. This approach feels more right to me. But, who knows… next go-around it might be prose again. LOL! Who was it that said, the poem will be done when I die?

  4. Matiu Blair says:

    This Is Poem I’ve Been Working On For Last Ten Years. I Probably Need Some Tip On How To Hone My Writing Skills… Could I Get Some Advice Here Maybe? So Without Further Ado…

    Restricted Aura

    Extend Your Hand To The Creator
    He Will Guide You Through Your Fears
    Humble As I Am Let Me Tread Water
    Flap My Arms Like A Wounded Bird
    Shed Not The Light Of A Passing Saucer
    Under Beams of Inexhaustible Resistance
    Pulling Me To Be With Another Form of Light
    Bulging Black Eyes Stare Curiously
    I Know They Mean Well In My Presense
    The Experience Of My Time In Space Precious
    I Have Been Here Before Somewhere As Forlorn
    A Reawakening From A Door That Leads To The Past
    You Are All I Have Now With Mouths Aghast
    Exercising An Experiment That Knows No Bounds
    I Need My Body To Touch The Earth Around
    Sneered A Soul I Never Could Free
    They Were Once There But No One Did See

    • Grace Curtis says:

      Matiu, Thank you for sharing your poem. It is wonderful that you are writing! Keep it up. What has worked well for me as I try to improve my poems is to find a small dedicated group of poets that live near me to meet with and to share openly with about what is working and what is not working in them. You might even find people who you can work with on an email basis.

      In this blog, there are different articles on how to strengthen poems, on how to read them, and on how to consider poetry. I suggest you take some time to look through the topics to see if anything seems valuable to you. Most importantly, read, read, read poetry by other poets to see how they write and to get inspiration. You might ask yourself, “how is my poetry different, similar?” Keep writing! I wish you all the best!

      • Matiu Blair says:

        When I pressed “Post Comment”, I didn’t give much thought to my actions and what might follow. I am very grateful for your kind words & encouragement and for replying as soon as you did. The subject matter is very real to me & is based on a true happening. I won’t go into too much detail but have to explain that my poem was really just a work in progress hence the lack of punctuation & necessary spacing. And the purpose was really strictly for your personal opinion which I’m sure you understand & I accept graciously.
        I do actually take part in the local culture & other social calendar events i.e participate in readings with a small group of like minds. I have also contributed other works to various sites without much success, not that I’m looking for recognition as such. It’s just a hobby I take very seriously which is the reason why I had to submit to this site. Namely, I was truly taken aback by your body of work (drawn in mainly by the title alone); rich in descriptive language, unique structure & characteristic “flow”, excuse the pun – It has to be said too “very entrancing”. Even the use of the horizon graphic lulls you into a false sense of security but complements the poem so well – truly an ingenious touch.
        I’m so glad I stumbled upon this webpage & to be able to share knowledge with someone of such remarkable calibre & experience. I’m trying not to sound too obsequious but it can’t be helped… I’m Sorry too if my original reply may have caused offence & Broke the traditional Rules of conduct/etiquette within this field, it wasn’t intended to.
        Many Thanks Grace, You’re a Shining Star & a True Master Craftswoman of this very sublime artform.
        May 2013 be an exceptional year for all…

  5. stillight says:

    fantastic piece of writing!!!

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