Thursday, 11 February 2016 13:42

December Poems

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As civilized as a sword can make us —

Hasn’t it a cultural achievement

To fold the steel in layers and forge it

With a hammer and anvil and hone the


Blade to lethality to inscribe it

With vows of victory and to wield it

Requires a warrior’s training to

Surpass the enemy’s might in battle


And all to no benefit without a

Supporting ethos infusing courage

In the warrior? As civilized as

We may be in the midst of savagery


Haunting the human animal forcing

A defense of gentle accomplishments.


And there are methods

for instilling compassion

and benevolence

in the midst violence

in the human dilemma.

 — Tekkan



Light and leaf — sun and sky — mind and sky — with

My eyes open I see the natural

Cooperation composing this world

And I wonder at the magic of it


That my skin absorbs the light just as a

Leaf absorbs the light just as the sun fills

The space surrounding the earth with light and

Somehow turns it blue — and have you noticed

How we live subject to the natural

Drama of the sky ceaselessly moving

With clouds and rain and wind and light and have

You noticed how the mind ceaselessly moves


From happiness to discouragement to

Confusion and also astonishment?


Too seldom do I see

too infrequently notice

the churning magic

composing combinations

and ceaseless transformation.



It’s a modest dining room a smallish

Round table and in the morning I make

Coffee and have a bowl of cereal.

Maybe a conversation an email


Or an expression on someone’s face from

The day before has left an impression

With me and so I consider what they

Are thinking and how they are coping and


What I should do — I didn’t understand

How to direct my energy when young

How to discover what needs attention —

I come to my breakfast table as to


A reliable sanctuary and

Continuously find intuition.


Solitude is good

regularity helpful

quiet conducive

for the cultivation of

insightful understanding.



There is music before dawn as the birds

Have returned and though the grass is crunchy

With frost underfoot the deep freeze will be

Lifting from the earth precipitously


And already there are eagles skimming

Currents of air and soon there’ll be swallows

Cutting the air and when I see bees buzz

In summer I will wear as little as



Possible — imagine seeing the earth

From the vantage of the moon with God’s eyes

As it circles the sun and revolves on

Its axis — wouldn’t the dawning light be

So much like a wave ceaselessly cresting

With night receding and blue sky surging?


Acquire perspective

indulge imagination

because it’s a gift

to be lost in wonderment

and to ponder why we’re here.



There are some people crazy enough to

Put on a wing suit at the top of a

Mountain and jump with the fabric between

Their legs and arms and body so they do


Fly by the precipices inches from

The rock so like a gliding eagle the

Miles of air and the ins and outs of the

Alpine shadows passing far beneath how


Like a God it would seem to be part of

Living a spectacle of gigantic

Proportions finding within a human

Form a capacity for soaring with


Excitement and with the experience

Discovering perhaps such joy and peace.


Perhaps a crazy

fellow was inspired by

a flying squirrel

so he made a wing suit and

climbed a precipice and plunged?

[Google “wing suit” for videos.]



November compared to the memory

Of August is bleak as much of the light

Seems drained away and the day is rounded

With a lengthening darkness portending


A season of night and snow but even

On an overcast November day there’s

A glowing through the clouds of light through the

Twiggy branches of the trees a softer


Emanation of the sun a milder

Assertion of life but also there is

A clarity and crispness in the air

When venturing out and walking briskly


Circulating my blood and breathing the

Cold clean air I am rejoicing this day.


It’s not the season

that’s determinate of my

receptivity —

always I may generate

engaging optimism.


Read 1061 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 11:37
Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.
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