Tuesday, December 25, 2012



                           Brilliant, this day – a young virtuoso of a day.
                           Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors,
                           deft hands. And every prodigy of green –
                           whether it's ferns or lichens or needles
                           or impatient points of buds on spindly bushes –
                           greener than ever before. And the way the conifers
                           hold new cones to the light for the blessing,
                           a festive right, and sing the oceanic chant the wind
                           transcribes for them!
                           A day that shines in the cold
                           like a first-prize brass band swinging along
                           the street
                           of a coal-dusty village, wholly at odds
                           with the claims of reasonable gloom. 
                      Denise Levertov

Jeanette Winterson posted a startling new Christmas Story on her website a couple of days ago. She writes one every year - this year's is characteristically searing and illuminating. 

This evening we will light candles along the wooden boardwalk that winds its way through my garden, rustle together a pile of cushions and head outside to share poems (Melissa Green's Nativity, David Wagoner's The Silence of Stars, Jeanette's Moon series and this latest Christmas story. . .  We will take turns to read out loud to each other and an audience of trees, grass and stars. . . 

". . .  I keep a light in the window because there is a part of me that believes that the light will attract something - I don't know what - something that isn't a moth. I keep the light lit because I don't want to accept the inevitability of darkness. . . "

Love and blessings to you all this Christmas - may we keep our lights lit as we enter 2013,  a whole - and hope-full - new era. 


  1. Love the Levertov poem...did you know that she used to live just down the street from me for a few years? I was lucky to share a dinner with her, her son, and a few other friends years back.

    And you've also chosen a David Wagoner poem, who taught a graduate writing seminar in which I was enrolled in the late '70's.

    Such a small world, this, and look at how many connections you already have in Seattle!!

    The best of all holiday wishes to you, dear Claire.


  2. Belated Merry Christmas, Claire, Happy Boxing Day, very belated Solstice Greetings. I love the light kept in the window, kept in our hearts, possibly unseen and unknown to all but a very few, still...Yes, thank you for the poem, the sense I share that in spite of everything, there is the shining day, the forgiving soul. I love the image of reading aloud beyond the candle-lit boardwalk, the summoning and honoring of all that is greater than. Love to you.

  3. Happy Holidaysareover! I hope you had a wonderful time with your family. Mine has finally gone and now I'm in the wake. God, what a disaster my apartment is... Cheers to the New Year and to cleaning. xoxo

  4. Thank you, Claire. Denise's poem is sure lit up. (She wrote the introduction to my second book of poems.) The days get longer without any prompting from me, but I like to strike a match in any season.

    Be well, dear . . .