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.




About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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