Another Poem For the Solstice

Were you able to view the eclipse last night? We passed a magical time in our front yard, watching the Moon move into the Umbra, the shadow of the earth, with the clouds from the coast moving in. The Moon was obscured and revealed by those dragon clouds. When the sky was clear, that blood rose Moon was a beauty, and all those winter stars — even light-obscured by the Bay Area — shone bright. Saw some shooting stars.

I can’t think of a more lovely way to have celebrated the Solstice than to have shared that time with my kids, the three of us lying down on the ground (!) in our front yard, and musing about this and that, and watching the magic of the Moon.

Here is another poem/lyric that I’ve set to music but have yet to record. I wrote it during the holidays of 1996, when Comet Hale-Bopp came through. The chorus was actually poetry my older daughter spoke and I notated (I often wrote down things she said as if they were poems — they sure sounded that way to me!).

I have memories of this House of Grace (as I call it), where I currently live from when I was a child, as it is the home my grandparents had built and lived in to near the end of their lives. These memories (chalk-drawings and gatherings) mingle with my grandparents’ ghosts, and my own astonishment at the Christmas season here in the Bay Area, where roses can bloom in the middle of winter ….

Visitation

by Jane Valencia (c) 1996

Longest night
to shortest day
Deo gratias” in your gray-rose exhale
Far traveler,
you grace us
this day
this angel day

Mary, Moses, a winged griffin
heavenly guardians on Our Lady’s Way
you nod to us
yellow daisies
in your alabaster hands
bright as God’s eye

chorus:
Are the butterflies
flying home
in their own little churches

There is the moon
growing through the trees

I’m looking at ancients
up in the sky at night
I wish I might
I wish —

Remembered voices of a midday meal
tasted on a sloping lawn
Chalk drawings reemerge
bright smudged, silver-tailed
And Grandma Bea, with her young girl’s smile
she hangs God’s clothes to dry

Enter the mist-garden
Grandpa Jay tends the newborn rose
winterfall petals float
into our celestial pond
One star, one eye
revealing the night sky
deepening the water-velvet dream.

Chorus.

We stroll the avenue
It’s Pleiades jeweled
constellations mirrored in the Christmas lights
There! Our messenger —
the blur takes form
eyes
ears
mouth

She’s going to a place
where she’ll be happy this winter

Dear creature, we bid you farewell

You are a rush of light
after an age of ice and dust
We welcome a new night
after this shortest day
There was an ancient
up in the sky at night
Southward she flies
she flies —

Solor Earth — stamp art by Jane

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