December 22

comments 12


The longest night of the year
was not so long when bridged

by sleep, all kinds, dreams
nested in dreams like Russian

dolls, brightly-hued, drenched
in lacquer, but nothing

in the center–
there are things

the mind keeps from us.



Which isn’t to say
I don’t still wake often–

the newspaper delivered
in its arc and impact,

or no sound at all
but with a different

tenor of silence,
or white noise, really,

when a voice drops out
I notice the loss.



Maybe had there
been stars, I would have

made it till later,
to celebrate the solstice,

but the blank blanket
effect drove me to sleep,

sometimes a bed
seeming like a maw,

but I should listen
to my body, it probably

needs it, this is just
alarm because

where does it all go?



Fled is that music,
do I wake?

or sleep?
That’s Keats,

and given the latitude
of this place I think

I know, slow all day
in spite of half a pot

of coffee, the streets
damp, the sky melting

into them, and drowsy
birds puffed up

with winter down;
I’m almost upon them

before they even
think to fly away.


  1. tenetsofaqueerphilosopher says

    Your words seem playful.. As the words captivates my heart in a silly way.. and I don’t even know why. The simple thought of languor became so majestic. You have earned my enthusiasm.


  2. Thanks for the like on Keats at Teignmouth. I’m finding more and more references to other poets writing about or referring to or creating verse about Keats and enjohed December 22nd. Keats also used the word “maw” in the poem he sent to his friend Reynolds which you can also read on my Keats Ghost blog. Cheers!


    • Thanks! I am enjoying your Keats blog — he was my first poetic love and I am sure I’ve internalized a lot of his word choices after reading all his poems and letters. Of course, there are far worse people to crib from. Looking forward to reading more of your work!


  3. moosha23 says

    This is incredible! Oh my gosh, so many feelings all into one poem…I love the bit about the newspapers “or with no sound at all/but with a different//tenor of silence” I could read this forever.


  4. I love your use of the Russian nesting dolls. I’ve used that imagery in a poem I wrote about my family for our Thanksgiving prayer one year. Long ago. When my grandma was still alive.


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