Solstice Hymn

Winter time is a god hung low in the southern sky,
with equatorial persuasion catching at his heels,
dragging his body to lower places, while keeping others
in perpetual shadow–to frost and then bite
at what shafts they can snatch from a falling god.
Up here, thin corpses are forced to hurry

their descent to dust; to rush to fall and hurried
on to winter. No time to lose, when the sky
clasps her grey shroud about the naked god,
shrugging into her fresh fallen gown and heels.
She sings hymns to her goddess and bites
out lullabies to the weary day-world—“hush, there are others

who need his warm embrace now and nothing other
than gold to flow in their streams”, she does not hurry
but tends the evergreen, who must thaw winter’s bite.
Blue to blue to blue: hues of an ever-clear sky
darkened in the mourning of the deity with caught heels.
Then a blue in the evening, calling home the lost god,

but mortals know better than to lend morning to one god
alone; ever-changing, ever-present; always Other.
Crystals shriek in protest of him, but oh the moon healer
is back this day—precious mother won’t you hurry,
babes of ice beckon your rise to the sky.
They weep at golden light and at warm fingers bite,

teething for the chill in their sodden gums. Biting
back evanesced breath, the moon rises—goddess
divine—what being could ever hope to take his sky
for her own? Hung in the ebb, she knows no other
than the flow of dark energy, slow, with no hurry
toward trepid light. Smooth and heal

with darkened balm our warm boy’s heels
for to run from your coning realm, he is bitten
and pulled to an underworld. Surely hurried
to be the southern son of almighty God’s
last loved hemisphere—or at least treated other
than the now chilled nations of the upper sky.

Winter, cold mother, clothe and heal this world
bitten by sunlight’s reign, ruminate on the hurry
of a god to other skies and sing us numb lullabies.


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