Perihelion Approaches

December 24, 2012

Sun comes closest to earth on the first day of the New Year, the perihelion;

At solstice I stand at Blue Pool in darkness and await the messenger, a portent—

Trumpeter’s blast, bejeweled refracted ray of light, or still, small voice?

I laugh because I am powerless, seerless,

Yet I will a presence, wait for a miracle,

Knowing one cannot conger such a sign, only hope:


I strip off my jacket and coat like the idiot boys at college football games,

Raising my naked arms, feeling the stinging wind, hearing the Mississippi’s watersong;

And then Bald Eagle appears upcliff, soaring west to east,

Eagle the embodiment of sublimity, equipoise, amazing grace,

(Benjamin Franklin proposed the wild turkey as our national symbol. The eagle:

“is a bird of bad moral character.”)

The King of Predators (Lord Barred Owl bows as it passes) shrieks, “Perihelion!”

Then it rolls, flying upside down over the snow-dusted rimrock.




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