Tuesday, December 20, 2005

solstice poem

I was going to perform this one at the slam last night, but there was this big group of teachers sitting in the front row, enjoying a Monday night out without having school in the morning. When I sold them a raffle ticket before the show, they mentioned my Subaru poem, which one of them got from me by email and read on the PA system to their elementary school during Poetry Month earlier this year. I was so tickled to have people in the audience who actually know one of my poems that I performed that one instead, and did not do the sostice poem after all.

So here it is, because it will now go to sleep for a year, except that it's in the Shoreline Chapbook so we might relive the solstice once or twice in the new year.

Don’t go into the woods at solstice
There’s a bear with a Coke who will give you a poke and make you think
You don’t have enough Christmas.
There’s a witch and her clan out-Jonesing the Joneses with her gingerbread sparkles and lipstick the colour of the apple that Snow White bit.
There’s a mackerel-scented Christ candle floating in a bowl of abandoned cranberries.
There’s a girl in a pageant dressed as Holy Mary Mother of God and her immaculate deception Traipsing holy holy around in the snow as white as her pure heart pretends to be.
But if she’s a good liver she’ll mean what she says and do better.

Don’t go into the woods at solstice
There’s an idea of joy that’s as easy to swallow as a golf ball washed down with curdled nog made from the egg of a dragon.
There’s a giant with nose hairs fashioned into a bouffant comb-over, all to hide that he’s been crying because the children will play in his garden but none will be his forever.
There are evil squirrels who do voice-overs for animé features about superheroes named Alvin,
Theodore and Simon.
And the elves spell evel with two “e”s.

Don’t go into the woods at solstice
You’ll find yourself reflected in the frost-crazed cover of a mineral lake
And you’ll go blind trying
To carve your ideas about hope, peace, joy and love into an old-growth forest that’s been devoured by beetles because the winters are never cold enough anymore.
And those who read them before they fall
Will dismiss them as derivative and turn back to classic carols digitally re-mastered on melba toast rounds with smoked oysters for entertainment.

Don’t go into the woods
You might not believe them.
You might just open your eyes and see the clear sky still over the trees
And realize that twenty days or so
Of overdoing almost everything can’t really hurt anyone who isn’t hurting already
But why do it anyway?

Don’t go into the woods at solstice
Go into the world, go into your home, go into the street
The woods will be there another night
When daylight’s nearer
The bears, witches, Snow White, mackerels, Holy Mary Mother of God, dragons, giants, squirrels, animé chipmunks, elves, beetles and oysters
Will still be there too
But it’s possible you’ll find that they are just as afraid of you
As you are of them.

Don’t go into the woods.

question: what is it about the woods?

mompoet - if I wrote a poem about the equinox it would be a crossword puzzle

1 comment:

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I like it!