Toward the Winter Solstice

Timothy Steele

 
Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the cord of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birchís crown;
A dowel into which Iíve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the treeís elegant design.
Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.
Some say that L.A. doesnít suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUVs.
And as the neighborhoods sink into dusk
The fan palms scattered all across town stand
More calmly prominent, and this place seems
A vast oasis in the Holy Land.
This house might be a caravansary,
The tree a kind of cordial fountainhead
Of welcome, looped and decked with necklaces
And ceintures of green, yellow, blue, and red.
Some wonder if the star of Bethlehem
Occurred when Jupiter and Saturn crossed;
Itís comforting to look up from this roof
And feel that, while all changes, nothingís lost,
To recollect that in antiquity
The winter solstice fell in Capricorn
And that, in the Orion Nebula,
From swirling gas, new stars are being born.
 
"Toward the Winter Solstice" from Toward the Winter Solstice (Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2006, www.ohioswallow.com).

Poems by This Author

April 27, 1937 by Timothy Steele
General Ludendorff, two years before
Herb Garden by Timothy Steele
The lizard, an exemplar of the small
In the Memphis Airport by Timothy Steele
Above the concourse, from a beam


Further Reading

Poems About Christmas
A Christmas Carol
by George Wither
A Christmas Carol
by Christina Rossetti
A Visit from St. Nicholas
by Clement Clark Moore
Christmas Away from Home
by Jane Kenyon
Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christmas Trees
by Robert Frost
Noël
by Anne Porter
Noël: Christmas Eve 1913
by Robert Bridges
On the Morning of Christís Nativity
by John Milton
Taking Down the Tree
by Jane Kenyon
The Mahogany Tree
by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Oxen
by Thomas Hardy
The Savior must have been a docile Gentleman (1487)
by Emily Dickinson
The Shivering Beggar
by Robert Graves
Poems About Winter
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [Blow, blow, thou winter wind]
by William Shakespeare
Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, Scene 2 [Winter]
by William Shakespeare
Snow-Bound [The sun that brief December day]
by John Greenleaf Whittier
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
A Winter Without Snow
by J. D. McClatchy
An Old Man's Winter Night
by Robert Frost
Approach of Winter
by William Carlos Williams
Fishing in Winter
by Ralph Burns
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Horoscope
by Maureen N. McLane
How like a winter hath my absence been (Sonnet 97)
by William Shakespeare
In drear nighted December
by John Keats
January
by Helen Hunt Jackson
Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion
On Snow
by James Parton
Picture-books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Places [III. Winter Sun]
by Sara Teasdale
Return to Winter
by Elaine Terranova
Spellbound
by Emily BrontŽ
spring love noise and all [excerpt]
by David Antin
The Darkling Thrush
by Thomas Hardy
The Magpie's Shadow
by Yvor Winters
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
The Snow Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Visionary
by Emily BrontŽ
There's a certain Slant of light (258)
by Emily Dickinson
To a Locomotive in Winter
by Walt Whitman
Triad
by Adelaide Crapsey
Untitled [Toward night]
by Kevin Goodan
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Winter
by Walter De La Mare
Winter Heavens
by George Meredith
Winter is good - his Hoar Delights (1316)
by Emily Dickinson
Winter Morning
by William Jay Smith
Winter Sleep
by Edith Matilda Thomas
Winter Study
by Mark Wunderlich
Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams
Winter Twilight
by Anne Porter
Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter: My Secret.
by Christina Rossetti